Joyce Elaine Schmidt Maldonado was born November 2, 1958 in Okeene, Oklahoma to Herbert and Emma Toews Schmidt. She peacefully passed away the afternoon of May 7, 2017 at the Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte, Colorado surrounded by her family and friends, reaching the age of 58 years. Joyce battled poor health for many years and finally, complications from cancer and diabetes caused her death.
Joyce grew up on the family dairy farm near Isabella, Oklahoma. She was the third of five children having 2 brothers and 2 sisters. She loved the farm life and for many years helped with the haying, the milking and the cattle. When she was 9 years old, she felt the call of God and found peace and forgiveness of her sins. Three years later, she was baptized on February 28, 1971 into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite by Minister George Nichols. By nature, she was very conscientious and her Lord and the Church were always very special to her. From a child, she was interested in spiritual things and never wavered in her faith in God, even through years of ill health and suffering.
In her youth, she spent time in the Mexico Mission and Navajo Land. She soon developed an interest in nursing, working first in Oklahoma and later moving to Livingston, California. In the mid-nineties, she found herself teaching school in Center, Colorado for a couple of years, then back to nursing. Joyce was a dreamer and planner and always had so many ideas, making things interesting for anyone who was a part of her life.
On May 6, 2001, Joyce’s desire for marriage was fulfilled when she and Joe Maldonado of Center, Colorado were married. For sixteen years and 1 day, Joe and Joyce enjoyed a special relationship full of teasing, laughter, love and tears. She was a cheerful, hard working person to whom God gave a special grace to accept any circumstance of life, no matter how dark, always saying she was getting better or things will work out. Hours and hours of baking, butchering, quilting, gardening and having company filled the precious years of their marriage. Joe’s family became her family and her heart was often blessed as they spent time together.
Six years ago, cancer came into her life to complicate her diabetes, and the stem cell treatment she endured left her on dialysis the rest of her days. The last six months were mostly spent in hospitals and finally, her will to live was mellowed and she calmly accepted her time in this life was nearing the end. She firmly believed God would guide her with a special light and pathway as she crossed over the River Jordan, and her loving Heavenly Father did just that. She was a special person to all who knew her and will be dearly missed. The family is so thankful for the years of loving care she received from the many nurses and doctors and all her brothers and sisters from the Center Congregation who helped her in her pain and suffering.
Joyce is survived by her wonderful husband Joe, who lovingly cared for her and faithfully stood by her side; two brothers, Steve and wile Raquel from Walker, Missouri and Wes and wife Eileen from Neilburg, Saskatchewan; two sisters, Marilyn and husband Randy Levings of Fairview, Oklahoma, and Grace and husband Titus Stutzman of Hydro, Oklahoma; Joe’s son Pete Maldonado and his two children; Joe’s extended family, including two brothers Jerry and wife Bella, and Mike and wife Theresa and one sister Mary Ann Roybal, whom Joyce loved as her own sister; and many nieces, nephews, and friends, including her “adopted” family, Delbert and Marlene Dueck, Kendall and Sonja Mastre, and Monroe and Lisa Johnson.. She was preceded in death by her parents.
A viewing and visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 5-7 PM at the High Valley Mennonite Church located at 45641 County Road E., Center, CO. 81125. A Funeral Service will be held on May 10, 2017 at 10:00 AM also at the High Valley Mennonite Church. Interment will follow at the Monte Vista Cemetery. The care of arrangements have been trusted to Romero Funeral Home of Monte Vista.