Joy Hotchkiss was born Elizabeth Joy Russell in Kiowa County Oklahoma on Dec 8, 1925 to Glen O Russell and Audrey (Gromer) Russell. She grew up on the family homestead in Mountain View, OK graduating from Sedan High School in 1942. Too young to enter nursing school, she worked as a secretary at the Tinker Air Force Base where she was recruited to be one of the "government girls" and worked at the Pentagon in DC for General "Hap" Arnold from 1943-44. She returned to OK to attend nursing school at Weatherford.
She met the love of her life, Ken Hotchkiss while there. They married in 1948 after her graduation and his discharge from the Navy. They settled in Clarks Grove, MN where their four children were born and Joy helped Ken start his business as well as working part time as a nurse. She was involved in their extended family, their church, helping neighbors, and friends in those years. Her greatest life challenge came when Ken joined the Peace Corps in 1963 where he took Joy and the 4 children to Dacca, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) for the next two years. She managed to care for the family and still do volunteer nursing. Returning to the US, they lived in Putney, VT for 3 years before settling in Blue Mountain valley, west of Arvada, CO. Joy worked as a nurse at St. Anthony's hospital and also became a volunteer EMT and firefighter for the Coal Creek Canyon Fire District. In 1999 they followed their close friends and neighbors, King and Doris Robertson to Hotchkiss, CO where Joy always said, it was the first time she "didn't have to spell her last name." Both Ken and Joy embraced their new rural community, enjoying time with so many good neighbors and friends on Hanson Mesa and the Mountain View Bible Church fellowship.
They enjoyed many visits from friends and family showing them around the western slope area they loved so much.
Joy was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth, oldest son David, her brothers Bud and Bob, and sisters June Briggs and Jeannie Pearson.
She is survived by her sister Carol Nelson, daughter Deborah (Paul) Stumme, Robert (Stephanie) Hotchkiss, and Mark Hotchkiss (Karen Ichiba). She is also survived by 3 granddaughters: Gretchen (Tim) Gonzales, Kendall and Hayden Hotchkiss, 5 grandsons, Andrew, Thomas, Griffin (Kwena), Nicholas (Aja) Hotchkiss, Luke (Jessica) Stumme. In her later years Joy dearly loved spending time with her 8 great grandchildren. Joy was also blessed with many nieces and nephews, wonderful friends and neighbors, several who helped us care for her: Dee, Krista, Tara, and Mareye.
A special thank you to our Hope West Hospice team, especially Lori and Pam, who helped us for more than a year.
Celebration of life will be held 11am on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023 at Mountain View Bible Church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to HopeWest Hospice at Hope WestCO.org or Mountain View Bible Church 8733 3100 Road, Hotchkiss, CO 81419.