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At age 77, Dr. Joyce Ellen Roberts (Johnson) went to be with the Lord on January 16, 2022. She passed peacefully at home attended by her sister, daughter and grand-daughter.

Joyce is survived by her twin sister and brother-in-law, Judith (Johnson) and Homer Lambrecht in Minneapolis, Minnesota; her daughter and son-in-law, Renee (Roberts) and Jeff Miles in Sparta, Michigan; and her grand-daughter Samantha VanDrunen (Nelson) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is preceded in death by her parents, C.E. & Janet Johnson.

Joyce was born on July 18, 1944, in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Charles Edward and Janet Marie Johnson. In 1966, she graduated from University of Wyoming cum laude with a degree in Nursing. That same year, she married James Wesley Roberts. They remained together thru 1975. Joyce continued with her nursing education and in 1972 received her master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Utah.

After moving to Illinois in 1972, Joyce received her PhD from the University of Illinois, where she was Professor and Director of the Maternal Child Nurse-Midwifery Program through 1997, with a hiatus in 1984 thru 1990, when she served as Professor and Director of the Nurse-Midwifery program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. During her time in Illinois, she married Dr. Robert Chatterton. They remained together until 1985. In 1998, she left Illinois to become a visiting Professor at Ohio State. She was awarded a full professorship in 1999 and remained there thru 2004. In 2005, to be closer to her daughter and granddaughter, Joyce became Director of Midwifery at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. She retired from the University of Michigan in 2009.

In her chosen profession of Nurse-Midwifery, Joyce was devoted, accomplished, and highly esteemed. This field meant so very much to her, she once wrote, “We view our role and profession as separate from the medical profession. We try to facilitate the process by tending to a womans emotional and spiritual needs, as well as, her physical needs.” Joyce was elected to and held the position of President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives for two terms, from 1995-2001. She travelled extensively while in this position to advance the science and profession of midwifery.

In her retirement, Joyce mentored young children at a local elementary school, and also worked at a local non-profit organization, W.A.R., (Women at Risk). Joyce is remembered for her kindness and competence.

Joyce was faithful to her belief in Christ Jesus. Her faith was most evident through her generosity. She gave generously to numerous organizations; she helped her family immensely with her time and her wisdom, always ensuring their well-being.

A gathering will be held July 19, 2022, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Please email the family for reservations, and details @ All are welcome.

Memorial donations can be made to:   An organization Joyce helped establish in 2020.


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