To view Joyce's Memorial Service CLICK HERE\n\n \n\nJoyce Ann Bengen (nee Gans), known to friends and family as "Cookie" (reflecting her sweet personality), passed away at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona on April 13, 2021. She was 79 years young. She is survived by her husband Bill, her daughters Christina and Jennifer, her son-in-law Jeremy Albert and her 7-year-old grandson Zachary Albert.\n\nJoyce was born in the upstate New York town of Auburn. As a girl she lived on a dairy farm with her family. She was extremely bright and skipped a full year of elementary school. From second through fourth grade, she attended a one-room schoolhouse. She eventually attended nearby Union Springs Central High School, where she participated in many activities: basketball, volleyball, was on the all-star team for field hockey, played clarinet in the band, did a lot of accompaniment on the piano for the male chorus, and a lot of solos for various functions. She participated in school plays, and was co-editor of the school yearbook, along with her cousin Pat.\n\nShe was accepted at Cornell University, from which she graduated in 1962.\n\nShe eventually received an MS in Education from Michigan State University, and became a junior high school teacher in Northport, Long Island New York. It was on Long Island that she met her future husband, Bill. They were married in 1975 and first lived in Smithtown, NY.\n\nCookie retired from teaching in 1983. In 1987 she and her family moved to El Cajon, California, where they lived for twenty-three years. They lived for three years in Chula Vista, California, until Bill's retirement from financial advising. In 2013 they moved full-time into their desert home in La Quinta, California. In 2019 they made a final move to Saddlebrooke, a community in the high desert north of Tucson, Arizona, where Cookie reveled in the cool nights and the warm, sunny days.\n\nCookie was an excellent piano player, and became a skilled bridge player with Bill's assistance. Not surprising for a Home Economics Major, she was a skilled cook and seamstress. As a result, Bill's belly was always full, and his socks never had holes. During the "COVID year" of 2020, she and Bill took countless "day trips" exploring the Tucson area, which was a great source of joy to both of them. She loved vegetable gardening and bright flowers, and is remembered by all for her kind, gentle nature.