Cover photo for Miriam Joyce Haskel's Obituary
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Miriam Joyce Haskel

August 9, 1931 — April 22, 2015

Miriam Joyce Haskel, 83, of Grayling, died Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at the Northern Pines Assisted Living Facility. Throughout her life she was generally known as Joyce. Joyce was born on August 9, 1931 in Norlina, North Carolina to Howard and Margaret (Tackett) Hayes. She was raised on a rural farm where she developed an appreciation for the growth of all living things. She graduated from Norlina High School in 1948 and by 1951 had moved to Detroit, Michigan to attend nursing school. By 1953 she had met her husband Robert at the hospital she interned at while he made patient visits as a young Lutheran minister. After a brief courtship, Robert and Joyce were married on September 23, 1953 in Bay Village, Ohio. Robert and Joyce initially resided in Roseville and East Detroit where Joyce became a housewife raising four children. In 1966 Robert answered a call to serve at two churches in Northern Michigan at Messiah Lutheran in Roscommon and St. John Lutheran in Grayling. The Haskel family moved into the parsonage on Ionia Street in Grayling. After her children began attending grade school Joyce returned to college at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City to get re-certified as a Registered Nurse. After graduation she began a long nursing career at Mercy Hospital in Grayling and eventually rose to the level of charge nurse in the extended skilled care section. Ironically, Joyce would be a patient at the same facility on two occasions late in her life. Above all else, Joyce was a dedicated wife and mother. She excelled at sewing and made from whole cloth much of her children's clothing and other household item such as furniture covers and curtains. Joyce was an excellent cook with fried chicken being her specialty. While their children were young Robert and Joyce would pack up the children in the family automobile for extended camping vacations and visited every state in the country except Hawaii and Alaska. Christmas was always a special time for Joyce and the Haskels with visits from Robert's sister and brother-in-law Lillian and George and their daughter Elaine. Joyce's mother Margaret and sister Elizabeth were able to visit one year from Virginia when Robert drove them from the Detroit airport back to Grayling in a raging snowstorm. Her interests of gardening and feeding wildlife related back to her rural farm life as a child. In Joyce's heyday her flower garden on Military Road was spectacular and she could grow the finest tomato plants in Northern Michigan. For several years while her grandchildren played baseball she would donate hundreds of tomato plants for Grayling Little League to sell as a fundraiser. In the early 90's Outdoors Writer Eric Sharp of the Detroit Free Press did a full page article on how Joyce fed wild turkeys which she did even as old age made her extremely feeble. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents and husband Robert. She is survived by her two daughters Ann Haskel (Steve Ukropen) of Evanston, Illinois and Rebecca Albright of Roscommon and two sons Andrew Haskel and Thomas (Tina) Haskel both of Grayling. She is also survived by her four grandchildren Benjamin (Laura) Haskel of Okemos, Jonathon (Cassie) Haskel of Las Vegas, Nevada, Nathan Haskel of Grayling, and Gage Albright of Virginia. Joyce is the great grandmother of Spencer, Connor, Evan, Ryder, and River. She was preceded in death by her older sister Elizabeth and brother Clyde. The Haskel Family will hold a Memorial Service and Celebration of Life for Joyce on the Haskel family property later in the summer when distant relatives from her North Carolina and Virginia roots can be notified. Memorial contributions can be made in her memory to the Grayling Youth Booster Club, PO Box 279 Grayling, Michigan 49738 or the Grayling Little League PO Box 130 Grayling, MI 49738. Condolences may be sent to www.sorensonlockwood,com Arrangements by Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Miriam Joyce Haskel, please visit our flower store.

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