Joyce Ellen Anderson Holland | 1928 – 2019

Joyce Ellen Anderson Holland was born February 2, 1928, in Fargo, North Dakota. She was the youngest of six surviving children of Peter Anderson, PhD and Ellen McIntosh Anderson.

The Anderson household emphasized education, music and art appreciation. Each child received private music or art lessons, even as the depression raged. Joyce’s talent was nurtured with voice lessons starting at age 10.

Joyce’s soprano was her calling card in the community. She performed in choirs and as a soloist with church and various choirs, singing a large repertoire of hymns, oratorios and operatic pieces. She sang at weddings, funerals and was the mainstay soprano of the civic opera company.

She was funny, inventive and smart. At her core she was fiercely intellectual. She insisted that her children learn to think critically. Joyce was a continuous learner, and imbued her children with a sense of adventure.

She was as tough as she needed to be, when she needed to be. She saw her son go to Vietnam and return a changed man. She stayed with a husband who succumbed to depression. In an era where mental illness was treated as a personal failing, she saw to it that her family got the help they needed. She encouraged her children to seek their dreams, even if it led them far away (or perhaps because it did).

Always politically engaged, Joyce became even more political as she aged. Having endured chauvinism while raising a young family during the 1950s and 1960s, she was a feminist before we knew what feminism was. She was absolutely solid in her belief in a woman’s right to autonomy over her body. She loathed Donald Trump.

Joyce had a career selling real estate in Fargo in the 1980s. She moved to Washington state in 1993 and lived near her daughter Andrea. In 2003 she moved to Los Angeles to be near her daughter Mary and grandson Jack. She returned to Washington state in late 2018. She enjoyed traveling with her children and loved Facebook, often trolling the friends of her children.

Joyce is survived by four children who are fierce allies and friends with each other: son, Jonathan Holland and his wife, Mery; granddaughter, Jessica; daughter, Andrea Holland Bonneu and her husband Christian Bonneu; daughter, Mary Holland; grandson Jack; daughter Barbara Baliff and her husband Jonathan Baliff; grandchildren Noah, Samuel and Eve; and sister, Lois Gaskell.

Smart, funny, caustic and talented to the end, she died on Feb. 12, 2019, in Everett, Washington, listening to Edvard Grieg’s “Morning” from the Peer Gynt Suite, which captured her soaring spirit. Her funeral will be March 7, at First Lutheran Church, Poulsbo, Washingoton at 2 p.m. Donations in her memory can be made to the Obama Foundation:

Please visit Joyce’s online guestbook at