I had many aunts growing up, but always one special one. She was born Joyce Mabel Erskine on November 7, 1919. The above photo is of her at age 1 with her next oldest brother Harold. She belonged to a Willamette Valley Oregon farming family, but was born during a short stint farming in the Alberta wheat fields. Being born in Canada as a United States citizen was always a minor complication of paperwork in her life.
Her mother was Mabel, and after having three sons before Joyce and then three more sons after her, Joyce was a dearly loved daughter. This photo was taken in 1923 or so, and was the 'before' picture before having duel haircuts.
Aunt Joyce always said that she loved her growing up years. She lived on a farm called Rock Hill, and played more than worked outdoors. The photo with the sheep was a forecast of things to come, as she and
Uncle Roy raised sheep most of their lives. She dearly loved her mother and brothers, but was thrilled to pieces when in 1927 she was finally presented with a sister named Susie. She had her very own live doll baby to take of and then play with.
When Joyce was 15, her mother caught spinal meningitis and was taken to the nearest hospital where she died. Not seeing Mabel alive again, after she left for the hospital was always a regret she lived with. Her father sent Joyce to live with his sister Mae in Taft on the Oregon Coast, which is where she finished high school. She loved to come home though, and above she's sitting on the porch with the farm dog.
She met and married William Roy Lambert on October 19, 1940 when she was 20 years old. Roy was from the same area of the Willamette family and his family had been farming there even longer than hers. They had a good marriage for 65 long years.
Joyce and Roy were never 'city folks', but Uncle Roy tried several ways of making a living without farming. Aunt Joyce moved with him around a bit of Oregon until he settled on working for the road maintenance crew with Linn County until he retired. They had a small acreage that kept them busy near Stayton, Oregon, and they had some farm animals and raised sheep.Joyce never worked out of the home, but she was one busy lady with all the chores. Shortly after she married, Joyce had to have a hysterectomy and was not able to have children. So, in 1951, they adopted a son and named him William Rodney Lambert. Then in 1953 they adopted a daughter, Rebecca Mabel.
Joyce was a tough farming woman, and able to keep up with Roy.
Here she is with me! I am the daughter of that dearly loved sister Susie, so I was automatically loved.
Joyce, Bill and I in Scio where they lived for a while.
Aunt Joyce was always a very special part of my life. She was the sweetest woman I have ever known. I loved her as she loved me, unconditionally. I loved visiting her and her family on the farm. Being a city girl, that gave me more than I could ever say. I was staying with them on the farm when I married. What a great sweet smile she always had.
Aunt Joyce suffered patiently through some very long years of advancing Alzheimer's disease, and was lovingly cared for by her daughter Beckie. Above she is with my remaining Aunt Joane, She saw all her many brothers, sister and husband pass away before her, and lived a wonderfully long life until she passed away this month at the age of 96.
A sweet and gentle woman, "well done thou good and faithful servant". Can't wait to see you once again!