Obituary: Joyce Tibbetts
May 28, 1927 – April 7, 2023
Joyce Aleen Anderson Tibbetts was born in Grand Junction, Colorado on May 28th, 1927. She grew up on the western slope, mainly in the small town of Collbran. Her first job, like many teenagers in the area, was picking and sorting peaches.
At 16, Joyce went to the University of Northern Colorado, majoring in Fine Arts and Music. She obtained a teaching certificate and moved to Fontana, California. She joined United Airlines as a flight attendant, and after living in Salt Lake City, Denver and New York she was promoted to vice president of display and advertising for United Airlines while living in Chicago.
Joyce and Captain Frederick Tibbetts were married in 1957 and moved to Fort Leavenworth, KS while Fred attended Staff college. Daughter Leslie was born there and the family moved to North Haven, CT while Fred attended Yale. Son Rick was born when the family moved to West Point and son Todd was born in Florida, before Fred was stationed in Korea. Falls Church, VA was next, with Fred at the Pentagon. When Fred got orders to go to Vietnam, Joyce came back to Colorado to find a home for the two-year tour and fell in love with the (then) small town of Steamboat. The family then moved to Germany, where Fred finished his career as Post Commander at Grafenwohr, Germany.
The Tibbetts family moved back to Steamboat for retirement in 1973. Fred eventually returned to his childhood area on the East Coast, while the call of the mountains remained for Joyce.
Leslie went on to Dallas to study and work in merchandising. Rick graduated from Princeton and Todd graduated from Williams College.
After several years in California, Joyce returned again to Steamboat to old friends and to Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. She remained active in the church life, serving on many committees including the Altar Guild and the vestry. She was very involved in plans for the new sanctuary where her carvings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were placed in the niches behind the altar. A carving of Saint Paul was added and stands behind the baptismal font. The processional cross was carved originally for the Old Stone Church.
Joyce is survived by her three children and four granddaughters. Joyce’s laughter and quick wit will be missed by all of those lucky enough to have spent time with her.
Should you feel the need to further honor the life of Joyce, please make contributions to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 770722, Steamboat Springs, CO 80447
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