Joyce Skinner

May 23, 1925 ~ January 2, 2021 (age 95)


I'm going away and I won't be back,
Everything is arranged, no bags to pack.
I am leaving my memories most happy, some sad
I have lived 95 years for which I am glad.
During the depression, I was born in 1925,
My father had lost his business, rough time to be alive.
Dad's name was George, Mom's name was Ethel, we had a little class,
Tracing our name to the Druids, we spelt it Middlemass.
England was my country, Durham City my hometown,
A very pretty tranquil place with a history of renown.
With two brothers and a sister, we lived a normal life
Then along came World War Two and back again to strife,
My mother handled rations and held the family tight,
Took six years of devastation to make this wrong end right.
Conscription at age 18 was mandatory, whether girl or boy,
So I joined the Women's Royal Air Force, surprised it gave me joy.
I chose a nursing profession I felt useful and had a source of pride,
Even though some of the war wounds made my feelings hard to hide.
Getting moved from place to place kept me from being a bore,
And I met a Yank named Charles who I soon learnt to adore.
Didn't think I wanted to leave England and move so far away,
But within six months, surviving red tape, we had our wedding day.
The year was 1945 and the war was ending.
It was time to pack my bags, my departure date was pending.
Arrived in Zillah, Washington, April '46, to the family farm.
I wasn't used to outdoor work, it was hard with very little charm.
Everyone was very nice, I really couldn't complain,
However it took many years to ease the homesick pain.
Son David was born in '47 and daughter Shirley in '49,
The children kept me busy we had nice friends and life was fine.
We decided it was time to leave the farm, to town we moved away.
Charles found a job and we bought our first home, it was a memorable day.
We lived a contented happy life, Charles enjoyed being a city recorder.
Kids maintained good grades, had nice friends and everything was in order.
Soon they were college bound then graduation and off to the East Coast,
We decided we also needed a change, liking Newport, Oregon the most.
Finding a house we liked with an ocean view gave us so much pleasure,
Charles became Siletz city recorder, a job he soon learnt to treasure.
Through the years we had camped many times but never bought a fifth wheel,
Our purchase made us happy, very comfortable and for our retirement ideal.
Snowbirding in the winter plus visits in Arizona to son David and his wife,
It was so relaxing, we made lots of friends truly a wonderful, joyful life.
Sharing Newport with Shirley and her boys gave extra joy to our life,
Having grandchildren to love and spoil gives life less strife.
All went well until our son had an aneurysm and died, it gave us so much pain.
Accepting our child's death, age fifty four, our lives would never be the same again.
After twelve years of traveling, we decided it was time to stay home,
The years had been interesting and pleasant, it was lots of fun to roam.
Newport is such a lovely place, we found many senior things to do each day,
Until bad health came along for Charles, on Jan. 9, 2011 he passed away.
Sixty-five years of marital bliss, widowhood wasn't easy to face,
And now my time has finally come, I am ready to go with grace.
I leave my family with memories to share,
I am thankful for their loving care.
Hope to be remembered at my best,
There will be no service my request.

The family that I leave behind....
Daughter Shirley Balloch, Newport, Oregon.
Grandson Brent Balloch and wife, Robin, Eugene Or.
Grandson Josh Balloch, wife Tristan, daughters Rowyn and Austyn, Grants Pass, Or.
Grandson Ryan Skinner, Show Low, Az.
Granddaughter Brooke Skinner, husband Matt and son, Draven, Arlington, Tx.

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