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Joy Ash

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...

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joy Ash, please visit our flower store.


Joy was a wonderful, kind person and will be greatly missed. What a great video of wonderful memories.

Paula Jackson May 4 2019 12:00 AM

Our sincere sympathy to you all. A truly wonderful person and friend, Joy will be missed by many.

Lorna Hemmes May 3 2019 12:00 AM

Prayer for you all at this time.

Karen and Vance Nelson May 2 2019 12:00 AM

Steve, I am sorry for the loss of your wife Joy. Sincerely, Mike

Michael Rustad Apr 30 2019 12:00 AM

I don't think I've ever met a more caring, sweet person than Joy! She did so much for so many. She will be truly missed.

Suzanne Ottem Leonard Apr 30 2019 12:00 AM

So sorry for your loss, Thoughts and prayers.

Jerod Lupien Apr 30 2019 12:00 AM

My sincere sympathy to the family. I am a coworker and friend of Angie ' s . I know what a beautiful soul her mom had because Angie also has the same beautiful soul. I pray for God's love for your family through the grieving of your loved one, may time provide you with wonderful memories as you move forward.

Cammy Haugen Apr 30 2019 12:00 AM

I will miss her smile and love for life. She was an avid cheerleader for all sports! Joy also had a kind and encouraging heart. Our sympathy is with all the family.

Brenda ROwe Apr 30 2019 12:00 AM

We are thinking of you Angie and family and hope you are doing ok. Your mom will surely be missed by the many kind words written about her🙏🏼 So sorry and sending prayers. Hope to see you soon at work.

Billie & Mike Yanish Apr 29 2019 12:00 AM

Sending our love and sympathy in the loss of your wife and mother, she will sleays be remembered for her good deeds to others

Doug and Betty Irving Apr 29 2019 12:00 AM

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