1942 Joyce 2023

Joyce Louise Brown

July 2, 1942 — January 10, 2023

Joyce Louise Thornton Brown passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 10, 2023 in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Joyce was born July 2, 1942, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the eldest of four children born to George M. and Pearl L. (Draper) Thornton. Joyce was a happy and playful girl with a thirst for adventure. She was her mother’s shadow, and they maintained a close bond up until her mother’s passing.  Joyce’s childlike wonder stuck with her throughout her life and relationships. She found joy and awe in every corner of existence. She took pride in her wonderous outlook on life, ensuring she would never lose her appreciation for all things.

Joyce met her love of 62 years, Benjamin P. Brown in Samak Park, Utah where both families spent time in their neighboring cabins.  They were married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on August 8, 1960.  They began their parenting journey the following year, welcoming a total of four children into their family.  She enjoyed her life as a homemaker while her family was young, going on to work in the printing industry after her children began their own lives. Joyce and Ben were deeply committed to one another and were inseparable throughout the duration of their time together. Ben loved Joyce unconditionally and remained actively committed to her happiness and needs until the very last moments of her life on Earth.

Joyce was a special person with a tender and imaginative disposition.  She saw value in every life. From the smallest of ants, to the largest of people, she knew with assured passion that life was to be valued and every living thing belonged on Earth just as much as she did. She carried a special love for animals and could feel their spirits.  She was featured in the Salt Lake Tribune as a the ‘Sugar House Duck Lady,’ often visiting Sugar House Park to feed the birds. She would bring along her young grandchildren to the zoo and park, passing on her affection and awareness of caring for animals. 

Joyce and Ben embarked on a life of travel, service, and volunteer work after retirement. Together they traveled to nearly every US state. Though the highlight of her travels was indisputably their trip to Australia where she was able to interact with and hold koalas – truly a dream come true for Joyce. They were the longest standing volunteers at Antelope Island and were recognized for their years of dedicated service. Joyce was also involved with the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, fostering many loving relationships during her time with the DUP.  Joyce had a strong passion for genealogy and was deeply invested in learning all she could of her ancestry.  She and Ben were called to serve a genealogy mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They found personal fulfillment within the mission, opting to extend their service multiple times for a total of nine years.

Joyce was a devout member of her Church and held the Savior close to her heart. She had a special relationship with her Father in Heaven and knew, without a doubt, that He was around her and an active participant in her life.

Joyce was a shining example of appreciating the wonder that surrounds us and will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.  In the spirit of her favorite animal, the koala, we wish her much needed and peaceful rest until we meet again.

Joyce is survived by her husband Ben, children Bonnie DeVaney, L. Paul (Teresa Sanchez) Brown, Alan (Melissa) Brown, and Carl (Lori) Brown. 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, siblings Stephen (Coleen) Thornton, Linda (Richard) Freer and brother-in-law Wayne Everett.  She is preceded in death by her parents, sister Diane Everett, and son-in-law Lonnie DeVaney.

A viewing will be held on Friday, January 20, 2023, from 6:00-8:00pm at Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd (7600 S.) SLC, UT 84121.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 21, 2023, at 11:00am at the Parley’s 5th Ward Chapel, 2615 Stringham Ave, SLC UT 84109. Viewing beforehand at the church from 10:00-10:45am.  Graveside dedication following the service at Wasatch Lawn Memorial. 3401 S Highland Dr, Millcreek UT 84106.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce Louise Brown, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 345

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree