December 11, 1943 – November 21, 2023
at the age of 79 years:
Joyce’s story began on December 11, 1943 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She was the 5th of Dan & Margaret Wutzke’s 6 children. Her family moved near Lumby, BC, and then settled on a farm along the Peace River in northern Alberta in 1951. They also had a house in the nearby town of Berwyn so Joyce could attend school and piano lessons. Dan & Margaret surrounded their children with love, kindness, music, and fun. These values guided Joyce for the rest of her life.
After graduating from high school in 1961, she spent 5 years at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, becoming a Registered Nurse and then a Public Health Nurse. It was here that she made several lifelong friends (sisters) among her classmates. She worked as a Public Health Nurse at Innisfail, Alberta, Clearwater, BC and Rutland, BC.
In 1966, she spent 8 ½ months in New Zealand and discovered her love for traveling. It was also during this time that she discovered a passion for downhill skiing, hiking, camping, and enjoying the outdoors. Other trips throughout her life included adventures to Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Africa, Canada, and the USA.
She moved to Salmon Arm and married Clayton Wesley Lank in December 1975. Becoming Mom to Lundy, Cody & Saralea, Mother-in-Law to Troy, and Nana to Ella, Tate & Wes were the most important and fulfilling roles of her life. She embraced Clay’s Australian children and their families. She was incredibly proud of her family and was always there to support, encourage, and celebrate. She was the biggest fan and most dedicated sports Mom/Nana, attending almost every game and keeping thorough statistics. She knew the location of every baseball diamond and football field throughout the province and the details of each player and their families.
Music was a huge part of her life from an early age. She played with her family for old-time dances and was the pianist/organist for countless church services, weddings, and funerals at the First United Church in Salmon Arm for 24 years. She cherished every student she met, every teacher/musician she worked with and every note she played during her 18 years as music accompanist for School District No 83. She loved her restaurant gig where she got to play all her favorites, including “Unforgettable,” “Georgia On My Mind,” and “What A Wonderful World.” She enjoyed playing with the Shuswap String Orchestra in her later years.
Joyce loved people and had the most kind, generous, and inclusive heart. She effortlessly made connections with people and was genuinely interested in everyone’s story. “Never nosy, just interested!” She truly celebrated and appreciated each day and inspired others to do the same. Her biggest wish in life was for everyone in the world to be kind to each other.
Furry friends played a special role in Joyce’s life, especially her horse Waco, cat Riley, and dogs Patti and Lulu.
Despite Joyce’s declining health, she remained brave, positive and gracious until the end. Joyce’s story is not over. Her memory and love will live on in her family, friends, and anyone who was lucky enough to cross her path. Think of her when you see a full moon, ski in the sunshine, hike a mountain trail, drink a good cup of coffee, groove to a tune, admire a flower, or cheer for your favorite sports team.
At Joyce’s request, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Joyce Lank Memorial Scholarship Fund at Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union (or e-transfer firstname.lastname@example.org) to support a student pursuing music in their post-secondary studies.