Joyce Kathryn Emde

joyce emde


Joyce Kathryn Evans Emde



Joyce Emde died on January 25 at home in the comforting presence of her husband, Bob, and daughter Anne. Her death followed a courageous two and one half year battle with cancer during which she was able to experience a good amount of life, love and laughter with family and friends. In the recent holidays she was especially blessed to share time with her other children from California, Charles and Beth, her sister, Lesley, as well as her five grandchildren and the supportive spouses of her children and sister.

Joyce was born in Nassau Hospital in Long Island New York, attended Garden City High School and graduated from Columbia University, School of Nursing with a Bachelors of Science in 1959. After working as a public health nurse in Harlem, Minneapolis and Denver, she obtained a Masters in Science in nursing from the University of Colorado in 1973, worked as a school nurse and obtained multiple certificates in family therapy, not only from training at the University of Denver, but also from London and Palo Alto. In 1991, she obtained a PhD from the University of Denver after joint study in psychology and communications, following which she commuted to Seattle for a postdoctoral training year in nursing research at the University of Washington. Since that time and up until the past year she has been involved in the private practice of family, couples and individual counseling and therapy in the Denver area.

Her pioneering dissertation work showed how marital interactions affected cardio-vascular responsiveness and blood pressure in healthy couples, but her love of clinical work led her to the many satisfactions of practice rather than continuing a career in research. In addition to times with her loving family, she also enjoyed traveling with her husband where she had many sustaining friendships both in the US and around the world.

She met Bob while he was in medical school at Columbia and they were married on July 4th 1959. In addition to her husband of 55 ½ years, she is survived by her son Charles Emde, her daughters Anne Emde Blyth and Elizabeth Hoedt, as well as her sister Lesley Shearer and her five loving grandchildren: Jessica Emde, Charles A. Emde, Alexandra Hoedt, Kathryn Hoedt and William Hoedt.

A Celebration of Joyce's life will be held at the Bullock Colonial Chapel on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to be designated in memory of Joyce Emde to either the University of Colorado Foundation, GI Cancer Research Fund; or Halcyon Hospice and Palliative Care. Addresses are below.

University of Colorado Foundation (GI cancer research fund), PO Box 17126, Denver CO 80217.

Halcyon Hospice and Palliative Care, Box 177, Mead CO 80542.



Family and friends are encouraged to share stories and photographs of Joyce here on her website. (click appropriate tab above)


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Memories Timeline


  1. Dear Bob and Family

    We were very saddened to hear of your loss.  We hope that good memories will help you through this difficult period in your lives.

    Jerry and Debbie Lazarus

  2. We are so sorry to hear of Joyce 's passing.  She was a wonderful, charming lady, whom we had the pleasure of seeing in California from time to time.  She showed enormous courage and strength throughout her diagnosis and treatment.  Joyce was certainly an inspiration to many. I know she was dearly loved by her family and will be missed. Our prayers are with the family.

  3. Joyce was a friendly and gracious presence whenever I met her, here or abroad. To her family and especially to Bob, I extend my shared sadness at all you have been through as a family, the long trek for you and Joyce in the losing battle with her illness.

    As un-luck would have it, your memorial service is scheduled the weekend of the psychoanalytic retreat in Colorado Springs, which I am long since pledged to attend. I really regret not being able to be with you. A memorial service is such a meaningful way to pay tribute and to say good-bye. My heart will be with you and I hope to see you to express my feelings in person before too long. Much love, Leslie Jordan

  4. Dear Bob,

    My deepest sympathy to you and your family.  Although I did not know Joan well, as a fellow nurse, I did feel a kindred spirit with her.  These transitions are difficult but you will have such wonderful memories to see you through. As part of your EHS 'family', my thoughts and prayers are with you.


  5. Dear Bob and Family

    We are so sorry to hear of Joyce's passing.  The joy and laughter she brought to her every endeavor will be greatly missed.  I have such good memories of our golf partner adventure.  Joyce made a  prickly situation hysterical and I think of her every time I pick up a golf club.

    Our love and sympathy go out to you and your family.

    Hugs, Amy & Jim Miller

  6. Our condolences to the family.  Dr. Emde will be greatly missed.  My family and I are forever grateful.  Her compassion and generosity will always be remembered.  The Potts Family

  7. Bob, we send our condolences.  We'll always remember enjoying Joyce's company, warmth, and wit over dinner in Park City and whenever we were together.  As Quakers, we will hold you in the light.

  8. Dear Bob and Family:

    Our deepest condolences for your loss. We will keep you and your extended family in our thoughts and prayers as you remember and celebrate Joyce's life. Our warmest regards in peace and comfort.

    Nucha Isarowong, Scott Shippy, and Kenneth

  9. Dear Bob,

    I have just learned of the sad news. I hold you and your family in my mind and heart, as I know many others do. Although i did  not know Joyce, i feel as if I knew her from the wonderful stories you shared at Zero To Three meetings.


    Dodie Norton

  10. Dear Bob and family,

    Dr. Joyce was my therapist for several years. She helped me more than words could ever express. Such a genuinely dear, sweet woman who will truly be missed.  She touched many lives and will have a very special place in heaven.  God bless your family.

  11. Dear Emde family,  my very heavy heart is going to do the talking here so please bear with my very deep emotion & affection that I have had & will always have for my dear sweet Dr Joyce…. I respectfully send my condolences to u… Joyce was so incredible , generous , kind, intelligent & loving… She was a real life angel to me & my children who are now grown but still love her very much…. She absolutely changed our lives in the most positive way year after year of knowing her… Such a special lady.. as you already know. We share in your greif but will relish in our memories… It does bring a smile to think that our real life angel has gotten her wings in Heaven & I bet they are really really BIG!! With great respect, Ann Schaaf , Josh,Nathan & Chelsey Meissner❤️

  12. Dear Bob and Family –

    We loved getting to know Joyce, her strength, her humor, and her adventurousness.  Our prayers and thoughts are with you as you say good bye to her, celebrate her very full life, and transition to the next phase of your own lives.

  13. Although I've known Joyce had been ill for years, I wasn't ready to see her go.  What a joyous spirit and infectious laugh she had! We spent many hours talking about family and friends in the doorways of our offices, barely able to pull ourselves away to go back to work. I miss her every day as I pass by her office where her sign used to be…..Goodbye Joyce

  14. Dear Robert and the Emde Family-Thank you for opening your hearts and allowing us to share in the celebration of a remarkable life that was your beloved Dr. Emde.  She inspired me in life and in her passing with her indelible grace. I dedicate the next chapter to you Dr. E.

  15. To the Emde family I send my deepest condolences. Bob, I smile as I think of the beautiful quality of your partner relationship with Joyce that you communicated so clearly to all of us as students and everyone in your professional lives. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as you go through this difficult period.

    All my love,


  16. It has taken us over a year to write about Joyce for that I apologize. I cannot express enough how much of antegral part joyce played in the continue success of my marriage. Joyce had been and I believe continues to be our marriage counselor and friend. I hear her voice in moments of despair or confusion. I hear her laugh and I feel better. I miss her every day, the talks filled with sage advice and kindness, guidance and reassurance. For years I sought her counsel, as she became the mother and friend I needed. Thank you, Joyce and deep condolences to family and friends.

    Warmly, Susan and David Cronk

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