Joyce Ortega

  • Born: August 11, 1944
  • Died: September 30, 2020
  • Location: Healdsburg, California

Tribute & Message From The Family


Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Joyce by adding your memories and photos.

Joyce Ortega died peacefully at home in Healdsburg after a courageous three-year battle with cancer. She was born in Mazeppa, Minnesota, to Ada and Norbert Grossbach. She grew up on the family dairy farm and graduated salutatorian in 1962. She attended Mankato State University and then went to work in Minneapolis. She moved to San Francisco in 1965 and went to work for Pacific Bell. She met her future husband, Frank Ortega, at Artichoke Joe's in San Bruno in 1967. They were married in December 1968 and moved to the Peninsula. After accepting early retirement in 1986, Joyce went to work for Nevada Bell, commuting to Reno, Nevada, for ten years.
Frank and Joyce moved to Healdsburg, California, in 1998 where they dove into the wine industry. They volunteered with Zinfandel Advocates and Producers for many years. Joyce also worked in the wine tasting rooms of Everett Ridge Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars and Seghesio Family Vineyards. She treasured her time in the tasting room and especially enjoyed meeting and talking with visitors. Joyce cherished the many relationships she built through her work and play in the wine world.
Joyce was well-known for her parties and culinary skills. She loved working in her garden growing vegetables and sharing the bounty with friends and family. She also enjoyed traveling with friends, included hiking and backpacking throughout the Western United States, and even around the world, but returning to Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada many times. Her wildflower book, with dates and places she spotted a particular flower noted in the margins, is a testament to the many places she hiked.
Joyce was preceded in death by her brother, Alan, and husband, Frank. She is survived by her niece, Dee Tyndale, grandniece Rebecca (Mike) Moechnig, grandnephew Jermane Tyndale, and two great grandnephews, Braxton and Maverick. Frank and Joyce also generously shared their lives with children of their close friends who they called their "rent-a-kids." Krys Horley, and Mark and Todd Lowpensky, have special memories of time spent with Joyce, including weekends, trips, and even vacations. She will be deeply missed by her friends and family. One of the best ways to celebrate Joyce's life is to plan an intimate party: invite close friends, make detailed lists, cook fabulous food, and serve it all with love, laughter and great wine.

Due to COVID 19, there is no memorial service planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Joyce and Frank were such wonderful friends that we met through ZAP, the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers. We had countless great times with them and their many wine-drinking associates. We will sincerely miss them.

Terry and DiAnn Rooney, Lincoln CA, formerly of Santa Rosa

Posted by Terry Rooney - Lincoln, CA - Friend   November 09, 2020

A loving star has died, but will live in our memories always. We shared good wine and food lovingly prepared and directed by Joycie. She was a dear friend who seized life with joy and zest.

Posted by Diane Gould - Berkeley, CA - Friend   November 09, 2020

I'd like to commend the writer of the beautiful obituary, which so well captures Joyce's infectious love of wine, food, and people, and despite having known Joyce since the mid 90's, I learned a few things too! Joyce is of the few true angels with whom I've had the good fortune of crossing paths in life. I'll always remember the walks through her garden before dinner, the water-badminton in the pool, I'll so miss her! - Jack Florence, Jr.

Posted by Jack Florence Jr - Geyserville, CA - Friend   November 01, 2020

Forever we will miss our Lady Joyce. We have many California memories. We have been so fortunate to have become part of our Aunt Joyce's California family. Forever she lives in our hearts.

Posted by Dee Tyndale - Zumbrota, MN - Family   October 31, 2020

Candle

Looking at all the photos makes me realize what a void there is now in my life....she was a Lady!

Posted by Kathy Herman - Cloverdale, CA - Friend   October 30, 2020

Chanelling some wildflower identification in Yosemite two weeks ago.

Posted by Mark Lowpensky - San Mateo, CA - Family Friend   October 19, 2020


Family Album


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Community Photos

Chanelling some wildflower identification in Yosemite two weeks ago.