March 9, 1948 — Jan. 2, 2023

Joyce Gardner passed away from a fall and congestive heart failure on Jan. 2, 2024, at her home in St. George.

Joyce was born in Richfield, Utah, on March 9, 1948, to Genevieve Sylvester Gardner and Blythe M. Gardner. She was the second daughter in the family of four daughters, Julie, Joyce, Gloria and Marianne. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, sister Gloria and her husband Michael Tibbetts.

Joyce graduated from Richfield High School and went on to study at Brigham Young University and Southern Utah University, earning her teaching degree. She excelled in her teaching career, teaching special needs and gifted children. She taught in Gunnison, at Draper Elementary and in West Jordan, where she completed her 35-year career. Joyce made many friends and made a huge difference in many young lives as a gifted and creative teacher.

Following her retirement, Joyce moved from Murray to Bountiful to be near family. She assisted her sisters in caring for her parents.  She married Michael Tibbetts, who passed away in March 2023.

Joyce grew up in a great neighborhood where she often invited her friends to a “tea party” held in the playhouse her father built in their backyard. She also authored a neighborhood “newsletter” which was a big hit. It was full of fun and entertaining adventures.  Joyce had an active imagination and a creative mind and was a talented writer and photographer whose work appeared in several magazines.  She also loved painting and was hoping to return to it someday.

Joyce loved school and learning and had a sharp mind. Unfortunately, her health was never great.  She suffered with rheumatic fever as a child and related health problems as she aged, causing her a great deal of pain.  She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ and always valued her membership, serving in many capacities, including Primary and as ward newsletter specialist.

Joyce will be fondly remembered as a wonderful friend, sister and aunt, especially to Marianne’s children Ashley, Nate and Hailey, Gloria’s son Justin, as well as Julie’s boys Dwain and Derren Klein. Joyce is survived by sisters Julie Welch and Marianne (Kendall) Sorensen, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

Joyce will be buried in Bountiful, Utah, in the spring. Her deceased husband Michael Tibbetts will also be buried at that time.

The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the caring members of the Winchester Hills 2nd Ward for their many hours of service to Joyce. Thanks also to many caregivers and medical professionals who cared for Joyce, as well as Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah.

Family and friends are invited to share tributes online. Arrangements and memorial tree planting by Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah, 435-986-9100.