Joyce Elaine Venetz, age 73, of Helena, MT. passed quietly away Sunday, February 18, 2018 at her home.
The lord wrapped his arms around her and told her her valiant battle was over and it was time to come home. After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) in December of 2016 she decided to hold her head high against adversity when there was no winning against a disease with no cure. She continued to live out her days with grace and dignity and to spend as much time with those she loved. She overcame her inability to communicate verbally and spoke volumes with a twinkle in her eyes and her gracious smile. Even in her final days, she was determined to keep on trying to do for herself even as her body and muscles were failing.
Joyce was born July 27, 1944 in Bel Air, Maryland to William and May Watts Baker. She joined two very mothering older sisters and three very protective brothers. It was a very loving family that grew more so as the years passed.
The summer of 1961, while on leave from the Army, brother Kenneth brought home a buddy from Montana who would later become Joyce’s “one and only”. Joyce graduated from Bel Air Senior High School in 1962. December 7, 1963 she and Wayne Venetz were married in Churchville, Maryland. They took on their new lives together as “the farmer and his new bride”. The daughter of a rock quarryman became a farmer/rancher’s wife. It was quite a learning experience for Joyce. In September of 1964 in Conrad, MT. they welcomed their first child Veronica. In July of 1966 they added another daughter Kimberly to the family. Then in September of 1972 Matthew completed their little family.
After 38 years of raising and harvesting many crops of wheat, barley and cattle on the family homestead they decided to sell the farm and start a new adventure. In 2001 they moved to Helena, MT and invested in storage facility, which their son Matt operates for them, and also invested in a little piece of quiet paradise just east of Helena and called it home.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William Butler and May Watts; one brother, Charles Baker; Wayne’s parents, Alice Keil and Vernon Venetz; brother and sister in-laws, Gideon Schmidt (Carol) and Virginia (Leroy) Hagen; and grandson Carson Christensen.
Joyce is survived by her husband, Wayne Venetz; children, Veronica (Vince) Christensen of Park City, MT., Kim Venetz Logan of Helena, Matt Venetz of Helena; as well as grandson Seth Christensen and granddaughter Kailey Logan.
A memorial and celebration of life will be held later in the late spring, early summer. Date to be determined at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent the ALS Foundation in Joyce’s memory or to Veronica Christensen, P.O. Box 644 Park City, MT. 59063. Condolences may be sent to 3557 Eames Ln., Helena, MT. 59602