January 1, 1947 - January 17, 2010

Joy Burke - 1964

Joy Burke - 1965

Joy Burke Toner Stiles - recent

On January 17, Joy Stiles passed away at her home, buoyed up by her family and closest friends. Born January 1, 1947, to Robert and Billie Burke in Cleveland, Ohio, Joy moved to Richland after her father took a job with G.E., attending Richland schools and graduating from Columbia High in 1965 as a proud Bomber.

Beginning in 1965, Joy attended WSU and in 1966 she chose to begin married life in Pullman with her first great love, Michael Toner ('65-RIP). Pullman was where she later gave birth to her beloved son James and where her life as a mother and dedicated Cougar fan began. Following Mike's graduation from WSU, the young Toner family moved to Aberdeen to begin a long affiliation with the Weyerhaeuser company, which took them to locations in Washington and, ultimately, to Mississippi. While in Mississippi, Mike tragically passed away at a heartachingly young age.

Joy and Jim returned to Washington so that Jim could attend WSU and Joy settled in Richland, joining PNNL in 1986. It was there that Joy met the second love of her life, Dennis Stiles, forming a bond of love and friendship that endures to this day.

In 2003, after many years of eager anticipation, Joy was delighted by the birth of Jim's first child, Megan Joy Toner. Her long awaited chance to be Grandma was further enriched in 2005 with the arrival of Kate Alexa and Joy treasured every chance to spend time with her precious granddaughters (and their parents too).

Joy was gorgeous on the outside but her true beauty was inside, manifest through quickly forming new friendships, caring more for others than for herself, and her irrepressible zest for life. Her smile warmed many hearts and her laugh carried throughout PNNL office buildings, and during the past year, through hospital corridors too. Joy was the perfect name for this cheerful, fun loving, engaging woman. She was taken from us too soon and her laugh and radiant smile are sorely missed.

Joy is survived by her loving husband Dennis, son Jim and wife Minh, granddaughters Megan and Kate, brother Bill and sister Niki. She was preceded in death by Mike Toner and her parents, Robert and Billie Burke.

The family would like to thank the many dear friends who enriched Joy's life journey, especially those who brought so much encouragement, support, and even laughter, to the last stage of that journey. The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made in Joy's memory to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation, Joy Stiles memorial fund.

A memorial tribute service will be held at 2:00 on January 23rd at the Memories at Sunset Event Center in Richland.

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