Joyce Anne (Ferguson) Rodriguez passed away Wednesday, March 17, 2021 from complications related to a 2019 stroke. Joyce was born June 18,1956 in Joplin, MO to Doris (Brown) and James R. Ferguson. She grew up in Joplin, MO., Idaho Falls, ID., and Bozeman, MT. graduating from Bozeman Senior High in 1974. Some treasured times for Joyce were visiting her grandparents on winter trips to West Yellowstone and either sledding or snowmobiling in the deep snow with her family. Frequent summer visits to Yellowstone National Park and road trips to Missouri and Iowa were also memorable. Joyce loved catching up with her cousins, catching fireflies, and just hanging out with family.
Joyce married her first husband in Bozeman in 1974. Following moves to Colorado and southern California, the couple settled in Manteca, CA. where they made many lifelong friends and raised their five children. They later divorced and Joyce married her second husband in 1998. They had two more children. In 2000, they moved to Crescent City, CA. and then settled in Gasquet, CA. a few years later. In 2014, her husband passed away from a heart attack. Joyce lived in Gasquet with her two youngest children until her stroke in 2019, which eventually took her to Modesto, CA. where she lived until her death.
Joyce worked as a Trust officer at Union Safe Deposit Bank in Stockton, CA. before moving to Northern California, where she ultimately changed careers to work with students with special needs and intellectual disabilities at Del Norte County Schools. Her job title was Paraprofessional, but she was so much more to her students. Most recently Joyce helped facilitate the after-school program for these individuals working alongside her daughter Joy.
Joyce had many interests and hobbies. She was an accomplished painter, having done many beautiful drawings and paintings throughout her lifetime. She also enjoyed creating art projects and gifts for her students.
Spending time with her children and grandchildren were by far Joyce’s favorite pastime. Joyce loved baking during the holidays and would make way too many cookies, pies, and treats, even for the large family she had. She also would love to take all of her kids to her favorite beach in the Bay Area, Stinson Beach. Joyce had countless treasured memories of Disneyland adventures with her young children from years gone by, as well as a recent trip with Joy and Jacob to see the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Road trips to visit her children living in their respective locations across the country and visiting family in Montana were always in her summer plans.
Joyce is preceded in death by her father, James R. Ferguson. She is survived by her mother: Doris Ferguson of Battleground, WA; children: Brandon (Laura) Starkel of Kansas City, KS; Coreen (Matt) Schut of Escalon, CA; Derrick of Fort Wayne, IN; Isaac (Jenna) Starkel of Johnstown, CO; Jenell (Brandon) Schnabel of Severance, CO; Joy Rodriguez of Crescent City, CA; and Jacob Rodriguez of Fort Wayne, IN; grandchildren: Sammantha (Scott) Cowan of Lubbock, TX; Nathan Starkel of Kansas City, KS; Jodeci Zepeda of Escalon, CA; Isabel Starkel of Kansas City, KS; Benjamin Starkel of Johnstown, CO; Nicolas Starkel of Kansas City, KS; Gabriel Starkel of Johnstown, CO; siblings: Greg (Jamie) Ferguson of Palm Desert, CA; Debbie Rensvold of Billings, MT; Tony Ferguson of Bozeman, MT; Jason (Shantelle) Ferguson of Battleground, WA; 21 nieces/nephews, and 14 grandnieces/nephews. She will be truly missed.
Memorial services will be held April 24, 2021 at Grand Avenue Christian Church in Bozeman, MT. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, Joyce’s memorial service will be limited to immediate family members and close friends.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Joyce Rodriguez to the Autism Society of California at the following website: https://www.autismsocietyca.org/donate.html
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Autism Society of California