In Loving Memory of
Joyce Audrey Heintz
May 21, 1931 – November 3, 2021
Virtual Celebration of Life Gathering
December 5, 2021
1:00 PM PST / 2:00 PM MST
Joyce (Widdifield) Heintz entered eternal life peacefully on November 3, 2021, in Mesa, Arizona.
Joyce was born on the family farm in Creelman, Saskatchewan in 1931 to Stewart and Marie Widdifield. She enjoyed that she was the only sister surrounded by three very protective brothers, Forrest, Lloyd and Lyall. Her father was born in Gwillimbury, Ontario and her mother was born in Plum Creek, Butler, Nebraska. Joyce was very proud of her Canadian roots and cherished her memories of prairie living. This strong reverence was evident and felt throughout her life.
After high school in 1948 Joyce moved to Vancouver, British Columbia with her parents and three years later she emigrated to Sacramento, California.
Shortly after arriving to Sacramento, she met her soon to be husband, Peter Heintz on a blind date arranged by her friend Martha. In 1955 Joyce married Peter Heintz, who hailed from Bismarck, North Dakota. Joyce and Peter established Sacramento as their home and over the next twelve years they welcomed five children.
Joyce combined her love of children and her thirst to learn by working her way through night school to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education. Even later in life Joyce pursued higher education by obtaining a doctorate of Esoteric Philosophy and Hermetic Science, an area of great interest to her. Through her many interests and careers spanning her adult life she set the bar very high for her five children which proved to be a strong motivator for all. She believed in doing your best, being family-oriented, working hard, being truthful but kind, loving yourself and loving others. Although often referred to as “one classy lady”, her treasured reference was to be known as “a prairie girl.”
She taught pre-school in Elk Grove, California where her youngest son Robert coincidentally met his future wife, Laura. She continued to stretch herself and studied to become a successful real estate agent and broker. Joyce also had the heart of an entrepreneur as she established the Emmaus Catholic Bookstore and the Ave Maria Ecumenical Center in Sacramento, California, which was a beloved hub of spirituality, education, and retail outlet to meet the ecumenical needs for many religions. She would attend the Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church and the local Jesuit School Chapel.
Her altruistic nature was felt in all her ventures as well as with her family and friends. Joyce was known to be up for it by her family and friends no matter the challenge or adventure, whether rafting down the river with grandchildren in her 80’s, climbing Chichen Itza in Mexico, exploring different states and countries, tackling home projects or remodeling rentals with the help of family and friends just to name a few. She thoroughly enjoyed and thrived when she was surrounded with her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and friends. She cherished friends she made through teaching, her businesses, school, and church. After retiring she focused more time traveling to and with family members and friends, walking at her nearby park with her dear friend Elaine, attending conferences and planning family events.
Joyce is survived by her older brother, Lloyd Widdifield, Burnaby, British Columbia, her five children: Michael Heintz and late wife Christi Heintz, Henderson, Arizona; Cheryl Allan and husband, Robert Allan, Elk Grove, California; John Heintz and wife Jacqueline Heintz, Merced, California; Kathy Sekardi and husband Brian Sekardi, Mesa, Arizona; and Robert Heintz and wife Laura Heintz, Carmichael, California.
Joyce has ten grandchildren; Tara McCall, Erin Jackson, and Kevin Heintz; Gregory Allan; Heather Heintz and Jason Heintz; Lacey Passantino and Thomas Woolley; and Madeline Heintz and Peter Heintz; and twelve great-grandchildren in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
Joyce was an animal lover her entire life. She will be missed by Princess, her beloved German Shepherd/Collie who made it a priority to follow and protect Joyce and lay at her side for comfort.