April 23, 1930 – May 27, 2017
Betty Joyce Jerman passed away at her home in Lakewood, Colorado, on May 27, 2017. Joyce was born April 23, 1930, in Fort Supply, Oklahoma, and moved to Bent County, Colorado, with her parents, Paul E. and Lola Mae Taliaferro, when she was 1 year old. Her father served for many years as superintendent of the Las Animas Water Department. The family’s move to Colorado brought Joyce close to her grandparents and the several aunts, uncles, and cousins who were already living in or near Las Animas. The many “get-to-gathers” and celebrations with the extended family were some of her most joyful occasions.
Joyce was the oldest of Paul and Lola’s four daughters, who all grew up in Las Animas and attended the First Christian Church and the local schools. She enjoyed school activities and friendships and graduated from Bent County High School with the class of 1948. Following graduation, she attended Central Business College in Denver, Colorado. which led first to a job with the U.S. Forest Service.
Joyce married her high school sweetheart, Ron Jerman, also a 1948 graduate of BCHS, at the First Christian Church in Las Animas on Dec. 21, 1952. They made their home in the Denver area. The couple’s first child, Cynthia, was born a year later, followed by siblings, Frank and Gail. After her children were older, Joyce worked as a school secretary in the Jefferson County school system until retirement in 1989. She loved the many trips she and Ron took with her sisters and their husbands and their frequent visits to friends and family in Las Animas. She enjoyed playing bridge and spending time with family. Joyce was a life member of the Pioneer Historical Society in Las Animas and a supporter of the old high school restoration project in Las Animas.
In addition to her husband, Ron, Joyce is survived by two daughters, Cynthia Palmer of Lakewood and Gail (Tom) Burnett of Wheat Ridge. Also by 10 grandchildren, Mason (Angela) Palmer, Audrey (Kirk) Smith, Logan (Melissa) Palmer, Tim (Kacy) Burnett, Mykah (Edward) Dasconio, Emily (Scott) Babinowich, Allyn Palmer, Victoria (Joe) Ogg, Ronald Burnett, Frank Burnett, and by 16 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are sisters Judy (Bobby) Cooke of Englewood, and Janet (Larry) Linn of Salida. Preceding her in death were her parents; her son Frank of Grand Junction, her sister and brother-in-law Jean and Bud Lantz of Aurora, and by her sister-in-law Gula (Lloyd) Adams of Las Animas. Joyce’s bright eyes and quick smile will now be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Funeral service was held June 2, 2017, at the Wheat Ridge Congregational Church, with burial following at Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge.