Joyce Elaine (Sloan) Birch was born in Nine Mile Falls, Wash. on Nov. 11, 1932, the second daughter of Orville and Helena Sloan. She passed away in Spokane on Oct. 1, 2009.
Joyce, sister Claris and brother Monte, were very close as the family moved often. Her family was blessed by her mother’s marriage to Walter Sloan – and the addition of step-siblings, Iola and John. In 1952 Joyce graduated from Rogers High School in Spokane. She graduated from the Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design and worked as a cosmetologist.
On Sept. 10, 1955 she married Arnold “Al” Birch. His career in the Air Force took the young couple to Puerto Rico where they welcomed their children, Dale and Diane. The family lived in Nebraska and Michigan before moving back to Washington. With Al’s retirement in 1968 the family moved to his hometown of Oroville. Joyce worked at times in the apple sheds as a sorter. She created a loving home for her children and their friends – one full of good food, singing and lots of hugs. One of her favorite roles was as grandmother – becoming a “second mom” to grandchildren Kyle and Kadi Buckmiller. She was delighted when her granddaughter Katrina Birch moved to Oroville as well. Joyce was a member of the Eagles and enjoyed a wide network of friends and family. Her family always included beloved dogs and cats. Her grandchildren, including her oldest, Kirsten Schrock, remember the great fried chicken she would fix, games of marbles and forts she helped them create in her living room. In 2006 advanced arthritis necessitated a move to North Valley Extended Care in Tonasket. There Joyce was surrounded with incredible staff and almost daily visits from family. The family will always appreciate the kindness and care she received at North Valley Extended Care and Deaconess Hospital.
Joyce is predeceased by her parents: Orville Sloan, Helena and Walter Sloan and her brother Orville “Monte” Sloan.
She is survived by her husband Al Birch, son Dale Birch and daughter Diane Buckmiller and John Jones of Oroville; her sisters Claris O’Connor and Iola (Bill) Olsen, brother John (Phyllis) Sloan, cousin Skip (Joan) Walters; grandchildren Kirsten (Robert) Ferring of Dallas Ore., Kyle Buckmiller of Vancouver, Wash., Kadi Buckmiller and Katrina Birch of Spokane; great granddaughters Alyssa and Madelyn Ferring, brother and sister-in-laws Wayne and Linda Birch, Vivian Emry, Doris Rearden, Eleanor Scratton; former son-in-law, Mike Buckmiller, plus numerous nieces and nephews.
A private graveside service will precede a memorial service at the Oroville United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 with her niece, the Rev. Joyce O’Connor-Magee, presiding. Memorial gifts maybe given in her memory to the Susan B. Komen Foundation, 1315 North Napa St., Ste 3, Spokane, WA 99202 or The North Valley Hospital Foundation (Extended Care), 203 S. Western Ave, Tonasket, WA 98855.
Bergh Funeral Service of Oroville in care of arrangements.