Joyce Arlene Buckingham

Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Joyce Arlene Buckingham
Joyce Arlene Buckingham

Our beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend Joyce Arlene Buckingham passed away June 11, 2022, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia, Washington at the age of 74. She was surrounded by family who loved her dearly. Mom faced her death as she did life: bravely with determination, humor, and love.

Joyce was born in Terry, Montana on June 23, 1947, to Don and Anna (Wolff) Young. Joyce (known as Midge to her family) was the youngest of their three children and little sister to Julia and Don. Anna passed away when Joyce was just 3 years old, a loss she felt deeply throughout life. Don remarried and he and Gladys Helen had three children: Ione, Nina, and Tom. Mom got to be both the baby sister and the big sister and loved it.

Growing up, Joyce was involved in 4-H, Rainbow Girls, and played the clarinet in the high school band. She graduated from Terry High School in 1965. Terry may be a small town, but the stories mom shared of growing up were large.

Joyce married her high school sweetheart, Roger Buckingham, on December 12, 1965, and added 4 more brothers (Dave, Doug, Tom and Kent) and another sister (Valerie).

Roger had joined the U.S. Army before their marriage and one of their first stations together was Fort Greely, Alaska, where they enjoyed the Alaskan summers kayaking, fishing, and playing midnight baseball games where a special position was created for her in the far outfield.

Kristi was born May 24, 1969, shortly before they left Alaska for Fort Knox, Kentucky. Brandy was born August 28, 1976, in Bismarck, North Dakota before the family moved to Minnesota. While there, Roger got orders for Germany. Joyce, Kristi, and Brandy moved to Billings, Montana to await Jason’s arrival on July 1, 1978. Two weeks later, Joyce and the kids travelled to Ger many to join Roger. Each time a child was born, there were more miles between Joyce and Roger, and she joked that they had to stop at three children or Roger would have had to be on the moon.

In Germany, they enjoyed visiting castles and seeing the countryside while riding bikes and going on volksmarches. From Germany, they moved to Fort Lewis, Washington in 1981. They took the scenic route to Washington on a cross-country road trip from New York, visiting with family along the way.

The family enjoyed fishing and boating trips during their time at Ft. Lewis, where they lived until 1987 when Roger retired from the Army. They lived briefly in Kennewick and Longview, Washington before settling in the Tumwater area.

Roger passed away on March 6, 1993, and Joyce, Brandy, and Jason moved to Bell Street shortly after, where Joyce lived until her death. Joyce worked at Toy R’Us in Olympia and was part of the crew that opened the store after it was built. She then managed Celebrations, the Party Store in Tumwater for many years before her retirement.

Joyce had four grandchildren whom she adored: Caleb Bromley (May 2, 1995), Mackenzie Denton (January 23, 1997), Kaleigh Bromley (July 13, 1999), and Joshua Schultz (May 9, 2008). She enjoyed cheering them on at their events and in their lives. She was very proud of them.

In addition to spending time with her family and grandkids in retirement, Joyce became very active in church activities, joining many small groups and bible studies and participating in the Prison Ministry, which she really enjoyed. She liked working in her yard and the ocean was one of her favorite places.

Joyce is survived by her three children Kristi Bromley, Brandy (Ryan) Schultz, Jason (Melissa) Buckingham; four grandchildren Caleb, Mackenzie, Kaleigh, and Joshua; sisters Ione Young and Nina Young; brothers Don Young and Tom Young; as well as many nieces and nephews. She was proceeded in death by her husband, Roger, in 1993, and her sister, Julia Bury, in 2018.

Joyce gave her family the solid foundation needed to succeed in this life and the next. She provided love, encouragement, support, guidance, and more love. All with a dash of goofiness and a lot of laughter. Joyce made a positive difference in the lives of those that were blessed to know her and count her as a friend and loved one. We miss her so very much. But we will be okay – because she gave us her strength, determination, grit, courage, sense of humor, and love to face anything that comes our way.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. July 8, 2022, at Evergreen Christian Community, 1000 Black Lake Boulevard Southwest, Olympia, Washington.

We love you, Mom.