(nee Stewart)

A very sad day came on October 5 for the family of Joyce Ungaro. We lost Mom on a beautiful, quiet fall morning, the sun shining through her bedroom window

Joyce’s passion and will to live never faltered. She never said “Why me, Lord?” Her motto was “Try me, Lord?” And with grace and grit she walked forward until God told her it was time to rest. The spirit of her love and devotion to her family and her friends is a seed planted firmly in all who knew her.

Her faith was a driving force in her life. Joyce tirelessly served the Presbyterian Church. And her church family was so very important to her. She has turned the sod, served as an elder, served on the session, the WMS, the Ladies Guild, taught Vacation Bible School, was an Explorer and CGIT leader in every congregation where we lived. Notably Cooke’s Presbyterian in Chilliwack, Knox United in Parksville, St Columba in Parksville, and for the past 37 years Haney Presbyterian.

In all these congregations Joyce sang in her beloved church choir. She loved to sing, and was blessed with a voice that reached into your soul. When she sang, even the angels stopped to listen.

Joyce graduated from Normal School in 1942. She loved teaching primary school, and went on a travelling adventure every summer. She saved up and bought her own car. She was a tried and true independent woman. She fulfilled her dreams. Rudy had to work very hard to sweep her off her feet. And he did. They married in 1952. Randy came next, then Jeannine and then Janice. She was a very devoted Mom, she did everything for us. Then to follow…her grandchildren who adored her, as she them.

The ache of her passing is felt by so so many. Her husband of 58 years Rudy.

Son Randy (Laura), children Robert and Jennifer.

Daughter Jeannine, children Deanne, Michael, David, Kevin, and their dad Hank Bitter.

Daughter Janice. And Joyce’s little shadow, Leroy Brown.

Joyce will also be loved and very missed by Rudy’s sons Gary Ungaro (Gillian) and family Garrett, Deana, Alivia, Thomas, Kelly Ann and Jessica.

And Jim Bolin (Delores) and family.

Joyce is also survived by her brother Stanley of Merritt and sister Daireen of Chilliwack. Plus her many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Joyce also had her desert family in Indio, California. The Happy Wanderer has been Rudy and Joyce’s “Snowbird Home” for 28 years. They have many special friends there who will miss their presence dearly.

The family would like to thank Dr. Daniel Wong, Mom’s doctor and friend for over 35 years. Also thanks to Dr. Gayatri Sreenivasan, Vera Kinach, the Krall Centre at VGH, the Abbotsford Cancer Centre, the VGH Stroke Team, and the Fraser Health Palliative Team.

Joyce was buried next to her beloved Mother and Father, Peter and Millie Stewart, up on Little Mountain in Chilliwack. A celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, October 23, 2010 at Haney Presbyterian Church in Maple Ridge. Please join us, and as Mom would love…wear a splash of purple.

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