Joyce Adele Unruh

Joyce Adele Unruh “Grams/ Grandma” was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend. Joyce lost her courageous fight with cancer and “ran” through the gateway to heaven on Feb. 22, 2021, at the age of 74. Joyce was passionate about running.  We have no doubt she ran, not walked, to heaven.

Joyce was born on May 13, 1946. She was raised in Garden City, KS., and attended school there until the age of 17. Joyce married Denton Clyde Unruh on Sept. 8, 1963, moved to Copeland, KS., and had a beautiful daughter, Bobbi Adele Ferguson. Joyce continued to pursue her academic dreams while being a full-time mother and eventually received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Fort Hays State University.

She eventually ended up in Scott City, KS., and had another child, Denton Allen Unruh. She worked several part-time jobs and volunteered at many church and community events while continuing to be a full-time mother and wife.

Weekends and vacations were full of adventure with Joyce. She was very active in clubs, school organizations, and church. Block parties and ski trips were commonplace with Joyce. Later, after receiving her teaching degree, Joyce spent many hours in the school as a substitute teacher and volunteer.

Joyce was most passionate about spending time with her family and running. There were times the household was woken up by the sound of pounding footsteps going up and down the stairs. She had to get that jog in. Joyce ran countless 5K and 10K races.  She also ran a marathon and finished the half marathon accent up Pikes Peak. In addition to her active lifestyle, Joyce helped raise her grandkids, nieces and nephews.  Joyce was an active member at the YMCA in Garden City, KS., and also at the Methodist Church in Garden City.

Joyce was loved and will be missed. Heaven has gained a beautiful soul.  

Joyce is survived by her husband Denton; daughter Bobbi Ferguson of Hugoton, KS.; and son, Denton Allen Unruh and his wife Penny of Sublette, KS.; four grandchildren, Christopher Ferguson of Omaha, NE., Courtney Esarey and husband Landon Esarey of Hugoton, KS., Megan Unruh of Breckenridge, CO., and Jessie Unruh of Emporia, KS.; nephews JC and Jeremy Culbertson and their families; Norton nephews, great nieces and nephews, and many other family members and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, Lola and Eardie Norton; brother, Eardie (Butch) Norton Jr.; and sister, Kelly Norton; son-in-law, Harry Ferguson.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 12, 2021 at Valley View Cemetery in Garden City, KS., with Rev. Joel Plisek officiating.  There will be no calling hours.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials given to Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo, in care of Garnand Funeral Home of Garden City, KS.  Condolences may be given at

Posted online on March 09, 2021