In Memory of




Obituary for Joyce M. Ogata

Ogata, Joyce M.

Joyce M. Ogata, age 87, of Delton passed away on February 12, 2020. Joyce was born on July 30, 1932 in Jackson, the daughter of John and Grace (Sewell) Gould. Joyce was a 1950 graduate of Lakeview High School. She received a B.S. degree in education from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in special education from Portland State University while teaching in Oregon. Joyce returned to Michigan in the 1970’s. Her career included teaching 4th grade in Hastings, special education at Altoft School and adult special education at EBI in Lake Odessa. She started the Special Olympics in Barry County in 1974. She introduced many innovations to the curriculum for special needs students, like a summer swimming program at her home on Wall Lake. She also implemented new approaches for that time like track, roller skating, and cooking. Later she would recall how much she appreciated the fact that the parents of her students were always so supportive of these innovations. Joyce loved to travel and, when possible, preferred road trips and if it could be on back roads, all the better. She visited all 50 states and missed only a few of the national parks. She and her travel buddy, Linda Mast, especially enjoyed their road trip to Alaska and bumping along "haul road.” She was a sports enthusiast and really enjoyed golf. After retiring from teaching, she worked for several years at Stonehedge Golf Course in Augusta. Joyce is survived by her sister: Laura Gould; brother: John (Kate) Gould; family friend: David Smith; brother in law: Ed Stormzand; and the much loved Stormzand nieces and nephews and their families. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents; brother: Richard Gould; and sister: Louise Stormzand. A memorial service will be held in Joyce’s honor at a future date. Memorial contributions to the Delton District Library or Rose Arbor will be appreciated. Please visit to share a memory or to leave a condolence message for Joyce’s family.