Joyce Petruska was born to Tom Woolard & Alice Holmberg in 1954, at a gold mining site outside of Ophir and in true Alaskan fashion was delivered by Tassie Holmberg, her grandmother.
She lived in Medfra then moved to McGrath where she eventually ran a foster boarding house for high school students. After marrying her husband of 44 years, Ignatti Petruska she moved to Nikolai. There the couple set up a grocery store, also working various jobs. While Ignatti trapped martin, lynx, beaver etc. Joyce transformed the furs in to a myriad of items. Her craftsmanship extended to intricate beadwork in earrings, slippers, checkbook covers, hair barrettes, Bible covers that she sold and gifted to friends. This expert gardener’s ability to transform her surroundings resulted in gardens wherever she lived. Her home in Nikolai and McGrath became a haven for many children who they raised, including those with special needs. When it was necessary to access more medical services the family moved to Anchorage. She became a Christian on April 2,1981. She is remembered as an evangelist, prayer warrior and a woman with unwavering faith in the Lord.
Joyce was escorted into the presence of the Lord on April 29, 2022 surrounded by her family. Joyce is survived by her husband Ignatti, her brother Bill Woolard, her sisters, Merna Winters, Verdene Anselment, her daughter Darlene Petruska with her husband Daniel Warren and their daughter Marcelina, her son Donald Woolard and his sons Owen, Noah and Gunnar, her daughter Mariah Petruska, Chris Petruska, Danielle Petruska and Theron, Taylor and Trevor.