Born 10/04/1939 -- Died 12/24/2020
Joyce passed away peacefully at home on Christmas Eve where she had been surrounded by her beloved family.
She was born to Carl and Hazel Whitney in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Colton in the early 1940s when her father took a job at Kaiser Steel. She went to cosmetology school right out of high school but found that raising her four sons was a more important use of her time than doing hair for anyone other than herself, which she did her whole life.
Later in life Joyce found great joy in the administrative positions she held for private companies as well as the county of San Bernardino. Her attention to detail and trustworthy nature allowed her to advance to quality control and lead positions within the county and she retired honorably in 2003.
One of her passions was cooking and she often prepared holiday meals for large family gatherings up until her late 70s. Possibly her greatest joy was her relationship with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was fond of hearing about their achievements and attending their events and celebrations or any other opportunity to spend time out with family.
She is survived by her brother, Richard Whitney, four sons, Merle Stephens Jr., Larry Stephens and wife Teri, Mitchel Stephens and wife Lori and Daniel Stephens and wife, Lana. Also, five grandchildren, Amy, Daniel Jr., Matthew, Leah, David and Abby, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild and another born on New Year's Eve, as well as multiple nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents Carl and Hazel, first husband Merle Stephens, second husband William Pruitt, sisters Betty Blazowich and Marjorie Blackwell and a granddaughter, Amanda.
In her final days, she said she wished she could just fly away, and on the eve of her savior's birth she did just that. She has flown away to God's celestial shores, where her joy will never cease.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 3 p.m. at Calvary Chapel Rialto, 1391 W Merrill Ave, Rialto.