Cover photo for Joyce McAuley Swoboda's Obituary

Joyce McAuley Swoboda

December 15, 1941 — December 21, 2023

Joyce McAuley Swoboda

Joyce McAuley Swoboda Saunders, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, passed peacefully from this earth and entered the gates of heaven while surrounded by her loving family on December 21, 2023, six days after her 82nd birthday.

A Celebration of Life is planned for 11:00 a.m. on February 10 th , 2024, at Presence City Church, 6701 N. Idaho Road, Newman Lake, Washington, 99025.

Joyce is survived by her husband Leo Saunders, her sons Rich (Jackie), David (Jennifer), and Scott (Maria) Swoboda, grandchildren Andrew and Bailey Swoboda, Amanda and Adam Swoboda, sisters Anne Logan, and Bonnie Anderson, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Auley and Irene McAuley, her first husband, Richard Frank Swoboda, and her brother Craig Charles McAuley.

Joyce was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on December 15, 1941, eldest of four children. She was named after her mother’s dear friend and mentor Joyce Gardiner of Santa Barbara. The McAuleys eventually settled in East Lansing, Michigan, where Joyce graduated from East Lansing High School in 1960. She then attended college at University of California Santa Barbara, where she earned a bachelor's degree in art and an elementary teaching credential. While there she met and married her first husband Richard Swoboda (Dick) in June of 1963.

Following graduation in June 1964 Joyce briefly taught art in the Goleta school system. In college Dick had been enrolled in the ROTC program, and following graduation he enlisted in the US Army as an officer. After their first son, Rich, was born Dick was stationed in Okinawa, where their second son, David was born. Following Dick’s honorable discharge, the family returned to southern California where their youngest son, Scott was born. Joyce was a devoted wife and mother and thrived on raising her young family during this time. She also taught art to elementary school students. Eventually Joyce earned her license and pursued a career in real estate.

In 1974 the Swobodas moved to northern California living first in Walnut Creek, then in 1978 settling in Moraga. Leo Saunders was their real estate agent and became a longtime family friend.

While the boys were growing up throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s competitive swimming became an important part of their lives, which Joyce and Dick fostered and enthusiastically participated in. Other family fun involved travel, and annual fishing trips.

Joyce always loved art. Besides teaching art to elementary school children, she also practiced that hobby at home and enjoyed teaching her children about it and creating multiple art projects with them. She mostly worked with ceramics but also loved playing guitar and singing with her sons. Her love of art spilled over into volunteering her time with her kids' swim team activities, scouts, and holiday art projects. She was a cub scout den mom, a soccer mom, a swim mom, and a grandma.  She was always ready and willing to help out with anything her kids and kids’ friends wanted to do.  Many of her sons' friends affectionately referred to Joyce as 'their second mom'.

In March of 1999, Joyce’s world turned upside down when Dick unexpectedly fell ill and passed away. It was a devastating loss to the whole family. But two years later she met Leo Saunders, her former real estate agent, at a dance studio. They began dating and joined their lives together in August 2002. They moved to Coeur d’Alene in 2003, but maintained a home in Moraga and went back and forth until finally selling it in 2018 to live full time in Coeur d’Alene.

Joyce lived an amazingly full life and enjoyed it immensely despite medical challenges, which she preferred to keep mostly private. She was determined to live the best life she possibly could. She enjoyed hosting and visiting family and friends. She fiercely loved her family, children and grandchildren, more than anything. She deeply loved her husband Dick, and after him her husband Leo. She always said how lucky she was to have two great husbands who loved and took care of her.

Joyce was a force to be reckoned with. She had a bright smile and an infectious personality. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please make a donation to diabetes research in honor of Joyce McAuley Swoboda Saunders.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce McAuley Swoboda, please visit our flower store.

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