Cover photo for Joy Ash's Obituary
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1956 Joy 2019

Joy Ash

June 21, 1956 — April 26, 2019

Joy L. Ash, 62, of Pembina, ND went to her heavenly home Friday, April 26, 2019 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND following an extended illness. Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. at the Pembina High School Gym in Pembina, ND. The family will receive visitors from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at the Humboldt United Methodist Church in Humboldt, MN. Visitation will be followed by a prayer service. Being a huge sports fan, it was Joy’s wish that anyone who chooses, wear their favorite sports team shirt to the visitation. Joy is proudly wearing her Minnesota Twins jersey, a team for which she and her family shared a love.

Joy L. Johnson was born June 21, 1956 in Emerson, Manitoba to John and Marlene (Rutherford) Johnson. She enjoyed a happy childhood in Pembina, growing up amongst siblings, grandparents, and cousins, middle child of the “5 J’s”. Joy graduated from Pembina High School in 1974. After high school, Joy attended NDSU, where she played softball, and then transferred to Mayville State. On June 26, 1976, Joy married Steve Ash in Pembina. She worked at the Kittson County Hospital and did some house cleaning in Humboldt. Steve and Joy moved to Crystal, ND where she continued to clean houses in Crystal, Hoople and Edinburg. After living in Crystal, they moved to Ellendale, ND. While in Ellendale, Joy worked at a nursing home and a local restaurant. In 1997, the family moved to Pembina where she worked at Wood’s Brokerage and later did home daycare until her retirement due to health issues.

Joy was a member of the United Methodist Women’s group and the American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed softball, bowling, puzzles, baking, cooking and entertaining family and friends. Her grandchildren, Madi and Evan, were her pride and true joy. She delighted in speaking with them nightly and shared in all their special moments. Joy was never happier than sitting in the bleachers watching her great niece and great nephews play ball - any ball. She was so much more than a great aunt to them. She was the greatest.

Joy leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, selfless caring, and an unforgettable spirit that friends and family will continue to remember. She had a true servant’s heart, being a loving caregiver to many and “Mama Joy” to a host of young people. She loved nothing more than the titles of Grandma and Auntie Joy, always finding time for a cookie baking session or ball game.

Survivors include her husband, Steve Ash, Pembina, ND; children: Matthew (Sheila) Ash, Eagan, MN; Gregory Ash, Edina, MN; Angela (Mike) Burkhardsmeier, Grand Forks, ND; grandchildren, Madison and Evan Ash; mother-in-law, Audrey Ash, Hallock, MN.; siblings: Jolene (Don) Windt, Kokomo, IN; Janet (Wayne) O’Hara, John (Kitty) Johnson, and James Johnson, all of Pembina, ND; goddaughter, Briana (Thomas) Martens, Grafton, ND. Joy is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Preceding her in death were her parents, grandparents, and father-in-law.

Memorials may be made to the Altru Dialysis Unit...

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