Joyce Eloise Potter Whipple, 88, of Orem, Utah peacefully passed away at Utah Valley Hospital on May 14, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. She was the middle child of 3 daughters born to Lewis George Potter and Selma Emma Potter on May 18, 1930, in Leavenworth, WA.
Her dad was killed in an accident working at the Grand Coulee Dam when she was 8 years old. The family moved to Wenatchee, WA where she graduated from high school. Her senior year she had the privilege of being chosen as Washington State Apple Blossom Princess. This gave her the opportunity to travel all over the state, speaking at most of the high schools and being interviewed on many radio stations. Because of this honor, Joyce was recognized with an article and picture in the April 1948 issue of the Improvement Era for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
After graduating from high school, Joyce went to BYU where she graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. While at BYU, she met the love of her life, Jack Davis Whipple. Jack played on BYU’s basketball team and Joyce loved cheering him on at all the games. She has always had a great love for all things “BYU” and for many years had season tickets to both football and basketball. Jack and Joyce married on February 14, 1952 in the Manti Temple. She said she chose Valentine’s Day to get married so that Jack would never forget their anniversary.
They welcomed six children into the world – 5 girls and 1 boy. They moved frequently, as Jack was promoted to management positions with JC Penney Co. Each promotion meant a move which Joyce did without complaint.
In May 1969 they started a new adventure, so Jack could fulfill his dream of working outdoors and owning his own business, by purchasing an apple orchard in Malott, WA. Just a short five months later, on October 7th, during harvest, Jack was killed in a tractor accident. Joyce was left with six kids, ages 1 — 14 to raise and a huge orchard to run. In spite of being told that a woman couldn’t run an orchard on her own, she stayed for almost 5 years and made it profitable.
After she sold the orchard, she moved the family back to Utah to be near her mother and her sister Shirley. She bought a home across the street from Orem High School where she lived for 42 years. She re-certified as a school teacher and taught at Westmore Elementary in Orem, for almost 20 years.
An amazing highlight in her life, was being a contestant on The Price is Right. She insisted on wearing her BYU T-shirt to the show. Not only was she picked to ‘come on down,’ she quickly became an audience favorite. They erupted when she actually won the Showcase Showdown. She won a trip to Thailand among other prizes. Because of the win, BYU asked her to be a presenter at the ‘Y’ awards, and she was also featured in Utah Valley Magazine for the 50 most fabulous people of 2009!
Joyce loved traveling the world, going to plays, musicals, operas and ball games. She went to every special event involving her grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces, nephews and countless others. She was their biggest fan and supporter.
After she retired, she volunteered at Utah Valley Hospital in the ER and at the Information Desk for many years and served in the Timpanogos Temple. She was involved in Comitas, a Women’s Club, serving as president twice and was a long-time member of the Cougar Club.
As her health declined, she had to sell her beloved home and move into Summerfield Assisted Living in Orem. She made many friends there and was treated with kindness and respect. Many employees expressed to us that she was one of their favorites, her sweet smile would always cheer them up and was a blessing in their lives.
Her family was the most important thing to her. Everything she did revolved around her children and extended family. She was selfless, truly one of a kind, always had a positive attitude and tried to make the best of every situation. Her passing will leave a huge void in all of our lives. We love you mom and we miss you. Till we meet again.
Joyce is survived by her six children: Kristene (Kenneth) Stratton, South Jordan, UT; Brian (Julie) Whipple, Spring City, UT; Kathleen (Kevin) Westphal, South Jordan, UT; Karen Collins, West Valley City, UT; KayeLynne (Edward) Terris, Lindon, UT; Koleen (Alan) Howe, Pleasant Grove, UT; 23 grandchildren 40 great-grandchildren, with 3 on the way. She is also survived by her sister Shirley Wootton. Preceded in death by her husband, Jack Davis Whipple; her parents; and sister Doris Myers.
A viewing will be held Sunday evening, May 19, 2019, 6-8 pm, Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 E 800 N, Orem, UT. Funeral Services will be held on Monday, May 20, 2019, at 11:00 am in the Sharon 3rd Ward Chapel, 430 S 700 E, Orem, UT, with a viewing prior to services, 9:30-10:30 am at the same chapel. Internment at Provo City Cemetery, 610 S State Street, Provo, UT. Condolences may be offered and memories shared online at www.walkersanderson.com.