Joyce Higgins Jensen, 72, passed away peacefully in her home on Feb. 19, 2014, surrounded by her family. After a courageous battle with cancer, she enjoyed a glorious reunion on the other side of the veil in the arms of her husband, parents, brothers and sister, and her Savior.
Joyce was born Jan. 13, 1942, in Blackfoot, Idaho, to Arthur Eugene and Thelda Romreill Higgins. She was the youngest of seven children, six of whom survived to adulthood. She was raised in the Riverside-Thomas area, and attended local schools, graduating in 1960 from Snake River High School.
On Nov. 10, 1959, she met the man she would love forever, Vern S. Jensen, and on Nov. 23, 1960, they became eternal companions in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. Vern had just returned from U.S. Marine Corps basic training, and immediately after their wedding, he left for Hawaii, where Joyce joined him after completing college business courses in Idaho Falls.
Joyce worked at Honolulu Savings and Loan Company while Vern was stationed in Hawaii, and continued to work in banking, rising to the position of head teller at Oceanside Federal Savings and Loan after Vern was transferred to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif.
Vern was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1964, and they moved to Pocatello. Shortly thereafter, their first son Michael was born. Three years later a second son, Christopher, joined the family.
Vern became a heavy equipment operator, truck driver, and pilot, while Joyce became the world’s greatest stay-at-home mom. She never missed a ballgame, concert, play, graduation ceremony, or other important event in her boys’ lives. Vern was often away working for extended periods, so she had to be both mother and father to her boys. She was incredible at it.
Joyce became heavily involved in sewing when her boys were young, and often made their clothes herself. She became involved with a local business, Stretch & Sew, and took part, both as a seamstress and a model, in several fashion shows held at their facility.
In 1983, Joyce helped to send her sons on missions by taking a job at Pocatello Supply (later Advanced Industrial Supply). She eventually rose to the position of Purchasing Manager, and enjoyed several years with the company before retiring.
Joyce loved the gospel, and fulfilled several callings in the LDS Church, including ward and stake Primary president. She was, along with Vern, also heavily involved in Scouting. She was the first woman elected to the Tendoy Area Council Executive Board, and among other things, she sat on numerous Eagle boards of review. She received several awards for her scouting work, including the Silver Beaver award, and helped both of her sons achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
In recent years, she served as the Community Relations Specialist in her ward. This calling gave her the opportunity to meet and serve with those of other faiths. She especially enjoyed fellowship with the members of Pocatello’s First Presbyterian Church. For several years, she participated in the church’s Kirkin’ o’ th’ Tartans celebration as a representative of the Scottish Brus clan. Her sons have vowed to continue that participation in her honor.
In 1990, she lost her sweetheart in an aviation accident, so once again she had to be both Mom and Dad, and by then Grandma and Grandpa, to her family. By the time of her death, she had eight grandsons, one granddaughter, and one grandson-in-law. They all love and miss their grandma very much.
Joyce’s oldest sister Leora passed away in 1997, and for several years thereafter she and her brother-in-law Marvin became traveling buddies. They made several trips together to such places as Vermont, Alaska, and Mexico. They loved cruises in particular. Marvin passed away late in 2013.
Joyce is survived and will be greatly missed by her two sons, Michael Vern (Kandy) and Christopher Arthur (Ann Marie), her granddaughter Kylie and grandsons Alex, Nathan, Aidan, Christopher, Adam, David, Matthew, and Aaron. Joyce’s granddaughter Kylie was married Aug. 10, 2013, adding a ninth grandson, Quentin, to the family. She is also survived by her sister, Laverne, sister-in-law, Elaine, and brother Gary, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother; brothers Eugene, George, and Wayne; sister Leora; brothers-in-law Marvin and Sam; and grandson Timothy. She was also preceded in death by three beloved pets: Lady, Teaser, and PK.
Funeral service will be held Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the Pocatello 26th Ward Chapel, 3444 Hawthorne Road in Pocatello with Bishop Tyson Spencer officiating. The family will meet with friends and relatives Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Manning-Wheatley Funeal Chapel, 510 N. 12th Ave. and on Saturday from 10-10:45 a.m. at the church prior to services. Interment will follow at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery at 3 p.m.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Manning-Wheatley Funeral Chapel.
Visit online condolences at www.manningwheatleyfuneralchapel.com .