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Longtime Alaskan Joyce Ann Ulsher, 71, died June 2, 2007, of leukemia at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
A funeral will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fort Richardson's Main Chapel. Pastor Randy Jones will officiate. A celebration of life will be July 20 in Helena, Mont.
Joyce was born April 1, 1936, in Cloquet, Minn., to Chester and Hazel Pigman. She moved with her family to Montana in 1945. Joyce graduated from Jefferson County High School as salutatorian of the class of 1954. She married her high school sweetheart, John David Ulsher of Basin, Mont., on July 17, 1954.
Joyce and John began their married life with a three-year assignment to Fort Richardson in 1954, followed by a tour from 1967 to 1970 and again from 1976 until the present. Joyce worked as a statistical typist for KPMG Peat Marwick for 19 years, retiring in 1996.
Joyce was active in the Fort Richardson Bowling League for many years and more recently organized the monthly ladies' luncheons for the members. She enjoyed giving back to her community via volunteer opportunities ranging from being a Cub Scout den mother in the '60s to helping with women's athletic events like the Run for Women and Gold Nugget Triathlon. An avid exerciser since her retirement, she enjoyed many forms of activity including riding her bike. Joyce was a fierce competitor at many games but especially enjoyed Scrabble. She loved to travel to see her children and grandchildren.
"Joyce was an exuberant, energetic, joyful woman, willing to uplift and cheer her family and friends in their endeavors," her family wrote. "She constantly encouraged us to do our best and then applauded us when we did. She was a wonderful, caring wife, mother, and grandmother, who took great pride in her family and their achievements. Joyce was very special lady and an inspiration to all of us. Her kindness, hospitality and humor will be sorely missed by all who knew her."
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, John D. Ulsher; two daughters and their spouses, Pamela Ulsher and Harold Tripp of Anchorage and Susie and Ron Llewellyn of Omaha, Neb.; and two sons and spouses, John and Susan Ulsher of Northridge, Calif., and Lt. Col. Andrew and wife Joan Ulsher of San Antonio, Texas; six grandchildren, Andrew II, Alexandra, Grace, Sydney, Spencer and Sarah; and six brothers and sisters, Clinton Pigman of Albuquerque, N.M., Robert Pigman of Townsend, Mont., Betty and spouse Mel Humphrey of Helena, Mont., Janet Hamlin of Helena, Don and spouse Norma Pigman of Helena, and Ron and spouse Corky Pigman of Hamilton, Mont. She was preceded in death by her sister, Margy, and brother-in-law, Harold Hamlin.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Donor Services, P.O. Box 4072, Pittsfield, MA 01202 or 1-800-955-4572. Or donate by secure Web site: https://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_donate
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