January 21, 1928 – February 18, 2021
Joyce Louise Lema-Runyan was born on January 21, 1928, in Denver Colorado to John and Blanche Francis. She moved to Turlock when she was two months old. She was raised in the Chatom Mountain View area and attended Mountain View and Mitchell schools. Growing up she met a neighbor boy (Joe Lema) who had a small dairy. After her Junior year of high school, they got married at the Catholic church on June 24, 1945. From this union they had four children, Anthony (Tony), Josephine, June and Joseph. They eventually sold the dairy and moved to Denair. They then bought a milk route where they picked up milk in 10 gal cans from dairies around the Turlock/Denair area and hauled the milk to various creameries in Newman, Atwater, Gustine, Hughson and Turlock. Joyce helped out by driving the truck on occasion while Joe got some needed rest. She also helped with local 4-H program as a cooking leader. She became interested in civic affairs and one year served as President of the Eagles Auxiliary. She helped man the Little League concession stand when her boys played. She loved singing and could pick up and play any instrument within a couple of weeks. In 1959 she decided to go back to school and get her high school diploma at Denair High School. She was employed by the United States postal service for 17 years. After 26 years, her and Joe decided to go their separate ways.
Later she met Harvey Runyan, a building contractor in Denair/Turlock area. They finally married in December, 2005. They had 39 years together. They did a lot of traveling together and loved going to the East coast and Disney World in Florida. They loved going to Crescent City where they would fish for salmon in the ocean. Over the years, they lived in Denver, Colorado, two locations in Oregon and several places in Turlock.
After Harvey passed in 2013, she moved to Covenant Living in Turlock to live out her remaining years. Her favorite hobby was making home-made Christmas, Birthday, Valentine, and any other holiday cards for family and residents at Covenant.
Joyce was predeceased in death by John and Blanche Francis (mother and father) her two husbands (Joe & Harvey), Son Joseph Lema, Daughter Josephine Hake, Josephine Lema, Margaret Homan (sisters-in-law), John Francis Jr (brother), Betty Vieira (sister), brothers-in-law Frank Vieira, Lawrence Costa, Bob Hurst, Jim Lackey, brothers-in-law Mike Hannaford, Mike Young, Doug Hake and a great grandson. She is survived by Anthony (Tony) Lema, son (Melody) and June Hannaford (daughter), Sisters Ila Costa, Annabelle Hurst, Rosie Lackey, (all of Turlock), Margaret Vieira (North Carolina) and 6 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and 10 great great grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association. A viewing is scheduled from 4 – 7 pm on March 1 and a final viewing on March 2nd from 9:30 am-10:30 am at Allen Mortuary followed by proceeding to Turlock Memorial Park for burial.