Joyce Lenna Orthmeyer

September 14, 1929 ~ July 28, 2016

Joyce Orthmeyer passed away peacefully in the early morning of Thurs., July 28th, 2016, at the age of 86 years. She is survived by daughter, Judy Famili (Mansour); son, John (Kelly); grandsons, Kyle (Courtney) and T.J. (Megan); and great-granddaughters, Carolyn and Nora. She was preceded in death by husband, Jerry; and son, Tom.

Joyce McCoy was born September 14th, 1929 in Helena, Montana, the only child of Leonard and Irma (Becker) McCoy. She moved with her family at an early age to Southwest Washington, attending Providence Academy in Vancouver, and later graduating from Battle Ground High School. She married Gerald "Jerry" Orthmeyer in January of 1950, and not long after son Tom was born. The couple had three children, Tom, Judy, and John. Joyce worked at the Jantzen Knitting Mill in Vancouver for many years, and was able to enjoy an early retirement at the age of 55, which allowed she and Jerry to travel routinely. They particularly enjoyed being "snowbirds" and spending the winter months at a family desert hideaway in Tecopa, California; this was a tradition for many years. Joyce was an excellent seamstress and loved to sew, always requiring a sewing room in her house, and manufacturing a seemingly endless supply of quilts and doggy-shirts for her beloved dachshunds throughout the years. Joyce had the chance to return to the Orthmeyer family farm in Dollars Corner and live there for nearly a decade with Jerry, until he passed away in 2012. They were married for 62 years.

Joyce's greatest love was for her family, reveling in being a mother, grandmother, and then great-grandmother. She took it upon herself to provide her grandchildren the quintessential "grandma experience," cooking delicious food, unabashedly spoiling, and teaching valuable lessons. She will be greatly missed by all for her loving and warm spirit, and her unassumingly mischievous nature. Picture her with a faux-stern gaze over the top of her glasses, followed by a wink, and Barbara Eden nose-wiggle. We love you, Joycie. Always.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Joyce's name to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for pancreatic cancer research. Though Joyce did not suffer from this disease, it was one that affected many people in her family.
Please sign Joyce's Guest Book at

Published in The Columbian on Aug. 7, 2016