Joyce Graham Perry

November 29, 1927 - January 8, 2021

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Born in Shady Pine, Oregon to Herbert and Hildred Graham, Joyce was wife to the late Rev. Jack M. Perry, mother to six, grandmother to 15, and great-grandmother to 19 children.

Joyce lived a full life in every sense of the term. Her Lord Jesus blessed her with a long life of independent ministry. After her husband’s death in January 1996, she began an active life of new ministry, serving as hospital and prison chaplain in the Yakima Valley, and recognized as “Volunteer of the Year” by a Central Washington non-profit agency.

Everyone noticed that Joyce lived out her name. Always cheerful of countenance, she was known for her contagious laugh which generated joy among family and friends. Her signature high heels had to be given up at 80, though she could keep making her statement through rings and bracelets. Till the very end, and despite much pain in her final weeks, she publicly maintained her “joy of the Lord” in both laughter and speech.

She lived out the Bible that she studied, marked, and taught in various ways including joyfully supporting her husband in the many demands of pastoral ministry at Fort Dick Bible Church and Gasquet Bible Church (Northern California) and Ahtanum Pioneer Church (Yakima, Washington). Her frankness about truth and life would create but also prevent misunderstanding of her convictions. During her final lap of two years in independent living and about two months of hospital/rehab her attendants knew about her faith. She would open her Bible as an opportunity for witness while shopping—she gave away her Bible to the shoe salesman, or while traveling—to provide conversation with strangers on the plane ending with the gospel and prayer.

She lived out her faith in a sacrificial way. She was always for the marginalized and generous with time and resources. Joyce (and Jack) fostered 21 kids in their home over a five-year period. She also made two trips to India, for the birth of a grand-child, and later for ministry with her granddaughter.

She is survived by children, Greg (& Darcy) Perry of Lacey, WA; Bonnie (& Ramesh) Richard of Richardson, TX; Robynne (& Steve) Cornell of Portland, OR; Joel (& Linda) Perry of Yakima, WA; Jan (& Mark) Flaming of Paxton, NE; Jill (& Carnell) Gibbs of Las Vegas, NV; 14 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.

An online memorial service of celebration will be held next Saturday, January 16, 2021, at 9 am, Pacific Time (11 am CST|12 noon Eastern). Zoom ID number 561-536-6220 (no password needed) will be opened 10 minutes prior to hear some of Joyce’s favorite hymns.