Cover photo for Joyce L. Ensign's Obituary
Joyce L. Ensign Profile Photo
1934 Joyce 2015

Joyce L. Ensign

December 14, 1934 — September 5, 2015


MADISON - Joyce Langlois Ensign, 80, of Madison, died peacefully at home at 2:20 AM on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Joyce, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year, remained active and fully engaged in life into her final week. Family and friends were fortunate to be able to cherish every day with her. Her husband and three children were at her bedside Friday.

Joyce loved music and the family home was always filled with beautiful sounds. She especially enjoyed the Carpenters and classical music. She was a longtime subscriber to the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and especially enjoyed attending Concerts on the Square. She loved to travel, and lived overseas on several occasions.

Joyce was an avid reader, loved crafts and doing puzzles in her spare time, and created many beautiful knitting projects. She had devoted long-term friends including those who lived in the immediate neighborhood of Camelot Drive, her exercise group, those she worked with as a medical technologist, and members of the local Mormon congregation.

Joyce's loved ones remember her as being an exceptionally open minded, loving and accepting person, and her positive approach to life has had a far-reaching influence. She showed us how to adapt and improve in an ever-changing world.

Joyce is survived by her husband, Jerry; her son David, and his husband, Mike Mills; her son, Scott, his wife, Karen, and their children Stephanie, Michael, Matthew, and Mark; her daughter, Sara and her husband, Jeff Schneider; her sister, Rebecca Moore; her nieces Teresa Van Steenwyk and Melinda Neufeld; and her nephews David and Brian Moore. She is also survived by extended family in the Netherlands, Nicole Goossens, Gemma Nijboer, and Joyce's granddaughters René and Sofie. She was preceded in death by her sister, Mary Pat Van Steenwyk; and her niece Rebecca Van Steenwyk.

Joyce was born in 1934 to David P. Langlois and Inez Partridge Langlois (both deceased) in Decatur, Ill., where she lived through her high school years. She attended Brigham Young University from 1952 to 1956, where she met Jerry in 1955. Joyce and Jerry's relationship blossomed across many miles of separation during her senior year interning at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., while Jerry finished his BA degree. They were married for time and eternity in the Mormon temple in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 3, 1958.

From 1958 until 1963, Joyce lived in the Los Angeles area where Jerry received his Ph.D at USC and where their two sons David and Scott were born. The family lived in Urbana, Ill., for one year during Jerry's post-doctoral work. In 1964 Jerry accepted an Assistant Professor position in Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin, and the family settled in Madison. Her daughter Sara was born in Madison. Joyce worked as a medical technologist at the Physicians Plus and Quisling clinics in Madison while raising the family.

A celebration of Joyce's life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, at her home, and those who knew Joyce and her family are invited to attend.

Donations made in remembrance of Joyce to the following organizations would be greatly appreciated: UW Carbone Cancer Center, Agrace HospiceCare and Boulder County AIDS Project (where David serves as a board member)

Joyce was a beacon of joy and an inspiration to us all, and she will be greatly missed.
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