Joyce Elaine Honea passed away at the age of 94.
She was born in the tiny mountain town of Lyman, Wash. and became a woman of resilience, intelligence, wisdom, and faith. Storytelling of her childhood included not only the happiest of memories, but life during the Great Depression, the death of her 4-day-old brother, contracting polio, which included several surgeries and long hospital stays away from her home, being hit by a car, the separation of her parents and her own divorce at the age of 20 which caused her to be a single mom needing to earn her own way as World War II began. In 1946, at a dance in Burlington, Washington, Mom met a handsome Marine who was stationed at NAS Whidbey Island.
Wendell and Joyce Honea were married on March 1, 1947 establishing their first home in Victory Homes Base Housing in Oak Harbor, Washington. Our family enjoyed several homes during the 44 years the folks lived in Oak Harbor. By 1952, Lynn, Jan, and Patti joined their brother Ray, and grappling with four young children made life financially and emotionally difficult. However, due to the hardships and disappointments of Mom’s early life, her resilience showed itself in a strong-minded determination to create and keep a durable home. We each one knew she possessed a fierce and protective love for us, never wanting us to suffer the things she had suffered. She was a strong role model for all the children in her home.
In 1954, Mom and Dad’s lives changed forever when they became Christians, devoting themselves to Jesus Christ. One of the results of their conversion was Mom creating a “home” for foster children. Among them, Carl Waggoner and Marty Baker became family for many years. Mom began living out a life of gratitude to God by serving at Oak Harbor Church of the Nazarene as a pianist (selftaught), secretary, teacher, and many other capacities. She was so grateful for a new beginning and new life in Christ and was often seen pouring over scripture and searching with others on spiritual quest.
Mom’s intelligence and wisdom tempered dad’s enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit in starting two successful businesses; Island Office Equipment and Azarel Setnet Fisheries. Mom was the bookkeeper, office manager, and realism checker that brought balance to our lives. How thankful we are for the example of two people with opposite gifts and temperaments being able to hold things together in love during the robust discussion and discourse that healthy marriages require. They genuinely loved each other in the best sorts of ways.
In 1961, Mom and Dad went to Nikiski, Alaska to explore establishing their own commercial fishing business. There, Azarel Setnet Fisheries was born. The word “Azarel” is from the Bible and means “God has helped.” The family continues to operate that business, creating ever-new intergenerational memories.
We continue to believe that God will help us to honor the legacy of faith, resilience, intelligence and wisdom our Mom passed to us. Upon their retirement from commercial fishing, Wendell and Joyce moved to Tucson, Arizona to be near Wendell’s family for a few years. They eventually moved from there to make their final home in Boise, Idaho, where Wendell died in 2003.
At Mom’s request no formal services will be held, but she cannot keep her large extended family from holding a family reunion to celebrate the memories we share. Our family wishes to acknowledge with love and appreciation our sister, Patti Glaze, who followed a calling to be our parents’ caregiver during their elderly years.
Little did we know then, that commitment by Patti and her husband Don would encompass 17 years of faithful service. If you wish to express condolences, we would be delighted for donations in honor of Joyce Honea for these things to which she devoted much of her life.
Donations are enabled online or through the mail at Kenai Peninsula Fisherman’s Association, 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Rd., Soldotna, AK 99669 or Nikiski Nazarene Church, PO Box 8409, Nikiski, AK 99635.
Mom’s diary from her final years closes with these words: “I think to close with a thankful heart. My journey is near end and I have experienced all the emotions common to man as well as the joy of knowing my God and Savior. No one can measure the scope of his life as God sees it and I am so grateful He has forgiven my sins and ignorance.”
Joyce often marveled that as an only child her family had grown so large. She is survived by her children: Ray (Darlene) Honea of Burlington, Washington, Lynn (Bob) Deakins of Boise Idaho, Jan (Vern) Kornstad of Nikiski Alaska, Patti (Don) Glaze of Boise, Idaho, 12 grandchildren, and over 28 great-grandchildren (and counting…)