Joyce Ann Larsen

Joyce Ann Larsen-Murphy passed away peacefully at home on May 4, 2011.  She was born in Cathay North Dakota and traveled to Seattle with her parents Lars and Inez Rodney and Sister Laverne and grandparents Andrew and Julia Erickson.  They made their home in North Seattle and Joyce attended Oak Lake Elementary and Lincoln High School.    Joyce is survived by children Judy and Duane (son-in-law) Long, Dellas and Denise (daughter-in-law) Larsen, Ia and Alfred (son-in-law) Fontanilla, and step-daughter Jun Kenney.   She is also survived by five grandchildren, Jonnie, Anthony, Michelle, Julia and Andrew and four great grandchildren Will, Sydney, Isadora and Eli.  Mom had many wonderful friends and loves in her life, but two of her dearest friends are Pat and Jim Morrison and their children, Susan, Janet and Carol.  Joyce is also survived by love and dear friend Jerry Murphy.

Joyce lived life to its fullest, and always told us she had no regrets!  She had a full career in the people business, starting with modeling , then as floor manager of many fine restaurants and hotels  in Seattle,  to name a few, Canlis,  Roosevelt hotel, Trader Vic’s, Vance and Camlin Hotel, and was  the catering manager at the Swedish Club.

Joyce married Henning Larsen in 1958 and they owned and operated a small chain of restaurants throughout the area.    Their last and favorite being the Woodgate Inn in Woodinville.  She touched many lives at the Woodgate over the years, making wonderful memories for many who dined and danced there!

Joyce also worked for 3 years at Theda House as the House director, she loved giving the young women advise and helping keep them focused on their career paths.  Mom was a tried and true equal rights women, way ahead of her time, and loved her career’s, but she loved  her children and we knew it, she always gave her realist view on leading a balanced life,  and her mantra of moderation in everything.      She even made time to foster two boys during her life which she loved dearly, Billy and Richard.

Joyce loved her career and family but she lived to travel, making many trips to Europe and to her favorite city Venice, Italy.   Her dream was to get the whole family to Venice one day, and part of that came true when Judy and she did take a wonderful trip there together which she treasured.     Her most life changing trip was the time she traveled through Romania with a group helping the “forgotten children” ,  she always spoke of this as being a defining moment in her life, traveling not once but twice at 60 years old throughout Romania after their tragic civil war.

She was an amazing host and an accomplished cook whose skills were always appreciated by those lucky enough to be seated at her beautifully set table.   Joyce welcomed any and all at the Holidays or if you found yourself alone on a day you needed someone, she was always there for you.   You could drop by her home unexpectedly and be welcomed, plus Joyce is the only person I know that could have chilled champagne glasses and bubbly (for 40!) a bit of brie cheese and some wonderful French bread all at a drop of a hat!

Joyce will be remembered by family and friends for her beautiful smile, her positive attitude and her enthusiasm for all she did. A memorial service and Celebration of Life honoring Joyce will be held Sunday May 22nd at Denny Park Lutheran Church in Seattle 1:30-4:30. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice.

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