Joyce Elaine Pyritz, 82, of San Manuel, Arizona passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren on Feb. 26, 2021. Joyce was the only baby ever born at Fairmount Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan where her mother was recovering from scarlet fever. She was born Nov. 17, 1938 to George and Lula Le June Sanders.
Joyce met a handsome, dark-haired man with an amazing smile while she worked at KVP (Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment) paper mill in Michigan. His name was Sam and after a whirlwind courtship of a legendary three weeks they were married. Sam and Joyce had such a wonderful love story that left a legacy of love to their family and friends. In March of 1967 Sam and Joyce packed up their family to head to the land of opportunity in San Manuel, Arizona and Magma Copper Company. The copper strike in June of 1967 made the move short-lived and the Pyritz family moved back to Kalamazoo. However, they loved the mountains and the favorable moments that waited for them out west, so in June 1970 they headed back to San Manuel and settled in for good.
While Sam worked at Magma, Joyce was employed at Creed’s Market and State Farm Life Insurance before getting a position as a mailroom clerk at Magma where she was employed until the mine closed in 1999. Joyce liked her work but her greatest joy was taking care of Sam, raising her four children and enjoying her grandchildren. She truly was the heart of her home and family meant everything to her. Joyce was always up for the adventures that Sam would take her on whether it was traveling to Michigan, visiting the casinos, or enjoying time with their family and friends. They were always together and enjoyed each other immensely. They truly had a wonderful life and built and amazing family.
Joyce will be forever missed, remembered, and loved by her son Don (Cecilia) Pyritz of San Manuel, Arizona, her daughter Lauri (Charley) Ivy of San Manuel, Arizona, her daughter Dr. Shelly (Avnel) Hogan of Maricopa, Arizona, and her daughter Lynette (Johnny) Wells of Vail, Arizona. Twelve grandchildren, Jacob Ivy, Heather (Jason) Brown, Chuck (Megan) Ivy, Joshua (Lyndsay) Cruce, Delora Pyritz, Mark Cruce, Ariel Hogan, Gage (Heidy) Hogan, Wyeth (John Doty) Hogan, Connor Wells and Brian and Denise Nielsen. Eleven great-grandchildren, Maya, Aidan, and Tyler Brown, Hailey and Emiley Ivy, Tyler and Kaitlyn Cruce, Liliana Hogan, Kayla Ivy, and Rylan and Brooklyn Nielsen and one great-great grandchild, Addisyn Craighill. She also leaves behind two sisters, Dorothy Sleeman and Vicki (Philip) Pettitt as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Joyce is preceded in death by both her parents (her father died in World War II in the Philippines), her brothers, Jack and David, and her sister Kathy and great-granddaughter Cailyn Brown. Joyce also lost the love of her life, Sammy Joe just 18 months prior and shortly after their fifty-seventh wedding anniversary.
Joyce will always be remembered for her generous heart, amazing cooking, sure wisdom, and wonderful hugs. She truly was a wonderful wife, mom, and Nammy and our hearts will always miss her. Joyce and Sam were always together in life and now they are together again forever. We love you mom, give dad a hug and a kiss from us.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 5, 2021 at 1:00PM at the Vistoso Funeral Home, 2285 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., Oro Valley. Visit Joyce’s online guestbook at www.VistosoFH.com or call 520-544-2285 for information.