Joyce Lucille Sorensen Willyerd
was born Mary 22, 1924 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the second of eight children born to Ingbert Sorensen and Mary Ellen Ash. She was raised and educated in Salt Lake City, Smithfield, Heber City, and Blackfoot, Idaho.
She married Everett (Tuffy) Lyle Rodgers on January 22,1941. She and Everett had 3 sons, Steven, Richard Lyle Rodgers (Carlys), and Ronald Bert Rodgers (Barbara) Stevie passed at 5 ½ months. Joyce was widowed March 28, 1945, when Tuffy was killed in the battle for Iwo Jima at the end of World War II. She returned to Backfoot High School to finish her graduation from high school.
She met Frederick Archibald Willyerd and married him May 1, 1946, in Mesa, Arizona. They had 6 children. Mary Ellen Ferrin (Eric), Frederick Alan (Nancy), Eric William (Jeannie), Janice Kirsten Washburn (Whitney), Jared Paul (Cheryl), and Jason Stanley. Fred was the ultimate father/grandpa to her mother/grandma role their whole lives. He supported her two efforts to run her Ladies Luncheon League and Diet Center businesses which when sold were highly successful. Grandpa Fred passed away October 1, 2002, leaving Joyce to run the whole show.
Joyce has been a faithful and active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Serving in numerous callings including Ward Relief Society President, Stake Youth Activity Counselor, Primary Teacher and with all her boys, she was a supportive Mother with Priesthood and Scouting. To Joyce, Church attendance and service were not an option. It was the only way.
All her children have been married in the Temple and all the sons served missions. Joyce and Fred served 4 missions, setting the example for all their posterity. Joyce and Fred toured many European countries but were always glad to be back home.
Joyce was what many would call a gourmet cook. What came from her kitchen not only tasted good but it looked good. Joyce was a skilled and talented seamstress who enjoyed sewing for children and grandchildren. Her long list of accomplishments with her Bernina also included suits, formals, and bathing suits.
Joyce and Fred returned to Arizona in 1982 and Joyce has lived here the last 41 years. Her home was a place of joy and happiness for all who came to her door. “You are loved here” would be a good motto. Joyce Willyerd is survived by 5 sons, 1 daughter, 2 sisters, a brother, 39 of 43 grandchildren, 108 great-grandchildren, and 10 great- greatgrandchildren. She will be greatly missed by each and everyone.
There is a viewing on Wednesday, August 18th from 6 to 8 pm at Bueler’s Mortuary 14 W. Hulet Dr. Chandler, AZ.
Thursday the 19th there is a viewing from 9:00 to 9:30 am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 220 E. Cullumber Ave. Gilbert, AZ 85234. The funeral will follow at 10 AM at that location.
Burial at Mesa City Cemetery 1212 N. Center Street Mesa, AZ 85201
Luncheon for the family will follow at the Cullumber Church Building.
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