Joyce Benson Olsen passed away on May 22, 2015 at a care facility in Provo, Utah after a long illness. Born August 7, 1935 in Ludington, Michigan, she was the oldest of 4 children born to Golden Jewel Benson and Margaret Caroline Kronlein. In 1941 her family drove across the country and settled in Ventura, CA in a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As a young teenager Joyce loved swimming, archery and tennis. She made it to the finals of the prestigious "Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament" one year in her age class.
While raising her initial 4 children, Joyce worked as a waitress, a secretary for the District Attorney's office and mostly as a grocery clerk, where many people in the community remember her friendly, outgoing personality and her generous spirit. She would often help people in need, giving them a place to sleep, good food to eat and encouragement to go out and improve their lives.
In 1966 Joyce was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by missionaries in Ventura, and she was an active member from that time forward. Joyce had a beautiful singing voice and she could chime in to almost any song with a lovely alto harmony. She loved to sing in the choir at church, and she frequently would take her children for a drive in the country and they would all sing and harmonize together in the car.
In 1976, as a single mother of 4 grown children, Joyce met Cleon Olsen, a kind and wonderful widower who lived in Camarillo, CA and they were married in the Los Angeles Temple. Cleon and his late wife had previously raised 6 children and helped numerous foster children. In 1978, Joyce and Cleon had a daughter of their own. During her time in Camarillo Joyce worked with handicapped children and she loved the work and felt it was her true calling. She later took classes at BYU and aspired to learn more about the best methods to use in teaching special needs children. Joyce and Cleon shared a love of genealogy and temple work and they both spent much of their time in the church library doing family research and helping others do the same. In the mid 80's Cleon and Joyce sold the home in Camarillo, spent some time traveling around the country in an RV with their young daughter, and then settled in Provo, Utah. Cleon passed away in 1990 and Joyce became ill shortly thereafter.
Joyce is survived by 4 children, daughter Lora Ereshan of Encinitas, CA, daughter Lynda Ramalho Ereshan (Mark) of Ojai, CA, son David Miller (Alisa) of Ventura, CA, and daughter Owen Thorn (aka Arlene Olsen) of Provo, Utah, 19 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Don Ramalho, her sister, Twyla Benson Cruz, her brother, Marvin Benson, her husband, Cleon, and her parents.
A burial service will be held on June 3, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Provo Cemetery.