Alice ‘Joyce’ Houk

Alice “Joyce” (Wetzel) Houk, age 80, formerly of Waukesha, died on Dec. 19, 2013, in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, the Rev. Dr. Cornelius Bailey Houk, in 2007.

Surviving are her children, Diane Lee Houk (Fred Freiberg) of Long Island City, N.Y.; Kenneth David Houk (Roger Secours) of San Mateo, Calif.; Peter Andrew (Amanda) Houk of Colorado Springs, Colo.; three grandchildren, Stefan (Elana), Emma, and Bethany; great-grandson, Oliver; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Joyce was born in Erie, Mich., daughter of Harry M. and Helen (Lee) Wetzel. She graduated in 1954 from Blodgett Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, Grand Rapids, Mich. She was a nurse at Presbyterian Sage Memorial Hospital in Ganado, Ariz. and Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., during the 1950s.

After 12 years as a stay-at-home mom and wife, while she lived in Pikeville, Ky., Beirut, Lebanon, and Southfield, Mich., Joyce returned to nursing in labor and delivery in Detroit, Waukesha, and at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.

She served as a Presbyterian elder, moderator of the Milwaukee Presbytery, and president of Durham Church Women United. She worked faithfully as a peacemaker for interreligious understanding and racial reconciliation.

A memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Joyce Houk to Housing for New Hope, 18 W. Colony Place, Suite 250, Durham, NC 27705, a nonprofit serving the homeless.