Former Cooper Landing resident, Joyce Ellyn (Toothaker) Olsen, died Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009, in Hamilton, Mont.
There will be a service of remembrance and rejoicing will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at the First Baptist Church in Hamilton, Mont., at 354 Cooper Lane
"'Please do not adorn my empty shell with flowers-do something generous for someone in need' was a request she wanted to be kept," the family said.
A later service, in the summer, will be held in Cooper Landing at the Kenai Lake Baptist Church and her ashes will be interred in the Cooper Landing Cemetery.
Ms. Olsen was born May 10, 1939, in Bartlesville, Okla., to May Ardell (Ward) Toothaker and George Eugene Toothaker.
Due to her dad's many different jobs as a civil engineer, she grew up all over the mid-west. She graduated from Colorado Springs High School in 1957 and married Larry Olsen in Colorado Springs in 1958. They moved to Monterey, Calif. and attended Monterey Peninsula College until he joined the United States Army in 1961. He shipped to Bamberg, Germany, where Joyce joined him later. Their daughter, Lynett was born Nov. in 1961 and in February 1963, their daughter, Diana was born, also in Germany. Returning to Colorado in 1963, Joyce worked at the DMV in Colorado Springs. In December 1965 the family, including in-laws, Mattie and Ken, moved to Cooper Landing.
"For 10 years her home was at the Sportsman's Lodge on the Kenai River. Joyce learned to be a short order cook, storekeeper, fish processor, and everything needed for a family to run a lodge," her family said.
After the family sold the lodge in 1974 they settled on some property in Cooper Landing and built the Shrew's Nest, a hardware-gift-tackle store. She also served on many of the Cooper Landing volunteer organizations. She was on the board of directors of "Friends of Cooper Landing". She learned to play piano from the age of 4 and was the organist at the Kenai Lake Baptist Church where she was a member and served as a financial secretary.
In 1985, the couple divorced and Joyce continued to work with the store and take some formal art classes in the Kenai Peninsula Community College. In 1987 she was accepted into the Alaska Watercolor Society. Her works have been in many exhibitions, open shows and won several awards. Joyce sold her business in 2001 and moved to Cottage Grove, Ore., where she became active in the C.G. Art Guild. She lived there for 4 years and in 2005 moved to Hamilton, Montana.
"Joyce enjoyed gardening, skiing, her painting, sewing, writing poetry and loved her family and her extended family of church and community. She was especially proud of her grandson's Matthew and Kristopher Lindsey and their personal accomplishments, "Her family said. "'Don't weep for me sister's and brothers- just dry your eyes and say, "I know she's home with all her loved ones, in the arms of Jesus today.'"
Ms. Olsen was preceded in death by her mother; father; and sister, Carol Stevens.
She is survived by her daughters, Lynett Valentine and Diana Lindsey; brother, Larry Toothaker, of Norman, Okla.; sister, Marty Rutan, of Ft. Wayne, Ind.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made in Joyce's name to the Marcus Daly Hospice Center, the Samaritans Purse, the First Baptist Church in Hamilton or to the Kenai Lake Baptist Church in Cooper Landing.
Arrangements were made by Daly-Leach Chapel, in Hamilton.
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