Joy Dean Thurmond passed away peacefully on August 20, 2021 in Draper, Utah at the admirable age of 96. Joy Dean was born April 13, 1925 in Bingham Canyon, Utah to Stanley and Violet Davies and was the second oldest of three surviving children. Joy Dean had two younger sisters that died of illnesses prior to them reaching the age of two.

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Joy Dean loved growing up in the small communities of Bingham and Copperton. The cultural and ethnic diversity of those communities shaped her into becoming a caring, accepting and non-judgmental person. She loved without strings attached and that endeared her to friends who became loyal to her throughout her life. Joy Dean loved school; she loved learning and she loved the tight knit bonds she made with her classmates. One of those classmates made her high school experience “glorious.” She referred to him as her “steady”—his name was John (Jack) Thurmond. She said that he taught her to kiss and she taught him to dance! Jack and Joy Dean were true high school sweethearts who got married on July 13, 1945 and remained married until Jack’s death on August 5, 2019. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple.

We all come into this world empowered to become what our talents and our drive guide us to become. Joy Dean’s talents guided her to a life of family, service and business. Jack and Joy Dean had a prosperous life together as they raised 4 children in Midvale. Spending time with family was a priority for her, especially at her cabin at Bear Lake or boating at Lake Powell or watching the Utah Jazz as early season ticket holders or later on TV. Family was always the center piece of all that she enjoyed. Joy Dean was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She served in many capacities including Relief Society President and Primary President. Joy Dean became an early member of the Jordan Credit Union and served that organization as its President for many years until her retirement in 1990, at which point she joined the Board of Directors. Her leadership and vision served to help the credit union grow into multiple branches.

Those who knew Joy Dean well knew that she was especially fond of the number 13. It was her lucky number. Her fondness for the number 13 began on her 13th birthday which was April 13, 1938 when she realized that her name, Joy Dean Davies had 13 letters; Her address was 13 Markham Street, later she discovered that her “steady’s” name, John L Thurmond also had 13 letters and he was exactly 13 months older than her! They eventually got married on…you guessed it! July Will we see you again? We don't really know, but from our hearts you will never go! 13, 1945.

Joy Dean is survived by her daughter Denise (Frank), her daughter Tamra (Pete) and her son James (Alyssa) plus 13 grandchildren (there is that number again) and an ever growing list of great grandchildren.

Joy Dean is preceded in death by her sister Bonnie Mae (18 months old) and her sister Glenna Vee (6 weeks old) as well as her father Stanley Davies, her mother Violet Davies, her sister Donna Gardner, her daughter Diane Dressen, her son-in-law Donne Dressen, her brother Glen Davies plus numerous close family members.

A grave side service will be held on Monday, August 30, 2021 at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at 17111 S, Camp Williams Road (aka Redwood RD), Bluffdale, Utah. The service will begin at 11:00 AM. A private viewing will be held for family members between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at the Serenity Funeral Home at 13863 S 2700 W, Bluffdale, Utah 84065, after which, Joy Dean’s body will be cremated.

Joy Dean’s kind and loving heart brought about great love in return! Her family would like to thank the selfless and caring Aids and Nurses, Counselors and Chaplains of Bristol Hospice and Beehive Homes of Draper for their exceptional care and compassion. The love and care you extended to Joy Dean has made you our lifelong friends. Lastly to Lehi Rodriquez and the staff at Serenity Funeral Home, Thank You for the dignified manner in which you helped bring to a close the final earthly chapter of Joy Dean’s life!

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Pete Adams

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Aug 24, 2021

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Latter-day Saint
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Dearest Joy Dean,

You will always have a special place in my heart. Your spirit, determination and intellect inspired me and also amazed me. I looked up to you and saw you for what you truly were. A pioneer as a strong empowered woman who “did it all.” Not only were you a huge success as a wife, mother, sister and friend but you were also a huge success as a leader in the business world. An incredible accomplishment for any woman but especially for you having grown up in a time where women weren’t often encouraged to succeed outside of the home. You always understood how influential and important my bond was with my grandma (Donna) and I am eternally grateful for the insight into her life that you shared with me over the years. Her passing was the greatest loss I’ve experienced to date and I always felt that you embodied her spirit in a unique way that only a loving sister could. I know you are at peace and you will be greatly missed by us who remain here on earth but I want to thank you for being you and touching the hearts and lives of so many over your impressively long life. Forever in my heart. — Michelle

Michelle (Gardner) Miller , Denver, CO, US Aug 25, 2021

That was a beautiful tribute Michelle!

Peter Adams , Draper, UT, US Aug 25, 2021

Thank you for the many wonderfully blessed years you gave to your family. I know you will be greatly missed. May your family find comfort and joy in knowing you are with your sweet husband, children, parents, and grandparents... along with your older Brother Jesus Christ.

Gerald White , Sandy, UT, US Aug 25, 2021