Zama American Middle and High School
Classes of 1958 - 2013
Joyce Y. Nekoba, 56, passed away on July 29, 2011. She was residing in Honolulu, HI and working as a registered nurse. She was born in Kamakura, Japan on December 10, 1954.
Joyce is survived by her husband, Benjamin A. Derderian; sons, Daron and Derek Miyake; daughter, Dacia Miyake; parents, Atsushi and Mihoko Nekoba; and brother, Alvin Nekoba (c/o '76).
Visitation will be held on Friday, August 12th, at the Diamond Head Mortuary from 5 p.m. Services will begin at 6 p.m. Aloha attire.
Comment from Diana Esch Simmons (c/o '72) - Joyce was always full of joy and had a smile on her face. She worked hard all her life and raised three children on her own while going to school and work. She worked at St. Francis in Hawaii and Medical Center in San Francisco. She work in a unit where liver and kidney (organs) were transplanted. She also managed a diaylsis unit with over 30+ employees in Hawaii. She was happily married to Benjamin Derderian in 2006. Joyce was planning to get her PhD at Hawaii University starting August 1, 2011. Joyce was generous and kind to all people. She had a big heart, was beautiful, intelligent and full of energy. She is loved by many and will be missed. Joyce's accomplishments and kinds words were endless...
Joyce was a true friend and great classmate in1972, she was one of my first friends when I arrived in Zama in the Spring of 1968. Her radiant smile, great sense of humor, and her beauty both inside and out will never be forgotten by all who knew and loved here. When we graduated in 1972, Joyce and her family and mine were on the same charter flight to Honolulu. After the flight took off, we moved a few rows ahead to lose our parents so we could talk away the rest of the flight about our dreams for the future, and swap stories about the years in Zama and the people who made it so special. Some of us '72 classmates used to visit Joyce at her dorm in UH, and as lifes goes on we got busy with our lives, and lost touch.
We met again at another local ZHS Alum event, a holiday dinner at the Prince Hotel 4 in 2009 --- it had been 26 years since we last saw each other, and since I had seen her radiant smile and heard her delightful laughter. I introduced her to my wife, and she introduced her husband, who turned out I had met before --- he was an agent with the Postal Inspecton Service, and his local counterpart was a Joint Task Terrorism Force partner of mine, small world. Joyce and I picked up our conversation off right where we left it, as if no time had gone by,and it was so great to hear her laughter again.
When I first started to experience symptoms of which turned out to be leukemia, Joyce offered her help from the clinic she ran, and mentioned that she also ran the transplant program in West Oahu. I never took her up on her offer, and was treated at another local hospital and then had my bone marrow transplant performed at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. I never told Joyce that I was going thru treatment for leukemia, and never corresponded with her while undergoing treatment, bacause I didn't want to burden her with my issues, thinking it was my cross to bear, she had enough to worry about with her own patients.
Then not too long after my return to Honolulu, I received the announcement of Joyce's passing from George Mosier to our local Alum net. My wife and I attended her funeral as did our local Alums, and Joyce's classmates/friends from CA. We were all heart broken, and to this day I regret letting my pride get ahead of me and not telling Joyce about what I was going thru, and not staying in touch with her, just to say I was OK. The lesson here is to stay in touch with those you love, let them know that their friendship and love is appreciated, and that they will always be in your heart...
Joyce, I know you are now an Angel in Heaven, and you have transcended to a higher spiritual plane to watch over your friends and family, and whenever we have beautiful Hawaiian evenings where the stars shine bright, we will always know that the brightest and most beautiful will be you saying you are still with us, and radiating your love for us all!
Rest in Eternal Peace My Beloved Zama Sister and Friend,
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