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Joyce Fern Johnson
February 1, 1928 ~ August 20, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Visitation has been cancelled due to power outage. Service will still be held at 11am at Calvary Church.
Joyce Fern (Bernhoft) Johnson, 95 and as beautiful as ever, of Grand Rapids MI went home to be with her Lord, Savior, and the lover of her soul on August 20th, 2023. She was granted the desire of her heart to die at home surrounded by her children. Joyce was born to Louis Ingemar Francisco and Margaret Juliana (Jonasson) Bernhoft on Feb.1, 1928 on a farm near Cavalier, N.D. and enjoyed a carefree, joyful, and secure childhood within a strong Icelandic community. She was a cheerleader, drummer, tap dancer, and majorette...not to mention homecoming Queen. Right from the get-go, Joyce loved fun, friends, and family.
After graduating Cavalier High and working as a bookkeeper in a hardware store, she attended and graduated from Business College in Fargo, N.D. Destined to be a Johnson, she couldn't decide between Eric and Hugh, but in choosing Hugh found the love of her life. What started as a blind date led to 68 years of marriage and a clan of almost 90. By the grace of God their lives were intersected by Jesus Christ in their late 20's, and a new purpose and passion defined the remainder of their years together.
Joyce was beloved as wife, mother, grandmother, GGma, and friend. Always ready to give a hug and encouragement to anyone she encountered, Joyce was claimed by many as their second mother, drawn to her open ears, open heart, and open arms. Passionate about the Word of God being taught in and beyond her home, she served as Teaching Leader of Bible Study Fellowship for 5 years. She loved to play games, tease the son-in-laws, and be surrounded with grandchildren and great grands. Her sassy style allowed her to rock outfits others wouldn't dare to wear, including animal print and many funky hats. Always posing with a hand on her hip—long before it was common—her spunky, playful spirit showed up anytime it was given opportunity. She often gave unsolicited advice with the excuse, “I'm always your Momma!” She loved to travel, read, garden, and created lovely works of art in watercolor. Revelling in the beauty that surrounded their home, later in life she could often be found on their front porch gliding in her rocker alone or with a loved one, sharing a heartfelt conversation. Her greatest love, however, was her constant companion, the Lord Jesus. Her deep passion for everyone to know Him and His transforming love as she did motivated her life of loving others well.
Joyce adored and was adored by her children, their children, and the great grandchildren. Her children: Vicki and Tony DeGrazier, Kara and Ilmar Arviko, Tim and Sue Johnson, Meryl and Jeff VanderWeide, Coleen and David Bronkema, Hugh and Carrie Johnson. Her grandchildren: Elyse DeGrazier, Travis and Kelli DeGrazier, Matt Arviko, Erika and Trevor Poole, Katariin Arviko, Josh and Jasmin Arviko, Bryan and Krista Johnson, Luke and Sarah Johnson, Kelly Joy Odenwald, Chad and Nicole VanderWeide, Sara Joy and Michael Buhr, Zach and Steffani VanderWeide, Chloe and Josh Nagel, Nick and Mackenzie Bronkema, Dylan and Mackenzie Bronkema, Isaac and Mikayla Bronkema, Corinne and Carter Goss, Makenna and Devin Reilly, Arianna Wright, Charity Johnson, Conner Johnson. Her great grandchildren: Landon and Olivia DeGrazier, Kaden, Kaleb, and Adelyn Poole, Brooks and Taylor Arviko, Zachary Johnson, Caleb, Titus Hugh, Owen, Eliana, Emma, and Isaac Johnson, Rockwell and Gracie Odenwald, Everly and Jack VanderWeide, Bowen and Colsen VanderWeide, Naomi Nagel, Ella and Boden Bronkema, Callie Joy and Caden Bronkema, Joanna Bronkema, Selah Joy, Noah and Adalae Reilly. (5 more on the way.) She was predeceased by her beloved husband Hugh Johnson.
A celebration of her life will be held at the Chapel in Calvary Church at 707 East Beltline NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, on Friday, August 25, 2023 at 11:00 AM. Thanks to Dr. John Carr and Emmanuel Hospice for their compassion, and heartfelt, enduring thanks to Dane and Joyce Bjork for their faithful, loving care in Momma's life over the years. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to Haven of Hope www.havenofhopes.com) or the Pregnancy Resource Center (www.prcforlife.org).
Hugs, hugs, hugs Momma and kisses, kisses, kisses.