Joyce Barak Passes Away at 62

Joyce Barak

Joyce E. Lilly Barak died on Jan. 24, 2024 at her home in Hermiston surrounded by her family at the age of 62 after a long battle with cancer.

She was born on March 21, 1961 in La Grande.

Joyce met her husband, Doug in January 1986. They were married that same year on June 28. Their marriage of 37 years was defined by a loving commitment to one another and a solid faith in God.

Joyce was a teacher for 19 years. Her peers would describe her as passionate, inspiring, and innovative. She was devoted to her students and cared for them deeply. She helped mold and grow many young teachers as she was an effective role model.

Her family meant everything to her. Raising two strong and sometimes stubborn boys was not for the weak at heart. She embraced her role as a boy mom to Jared and Nate, taking them and their friends fishing and hunting, ensuring that they experienced grand adventures while spending quality time with their energetic mother.

Her treasured role as a grandmother came in July 2020 when she became GiGi Joy to her grandson, Hayes. He would run into the living room with open arms and jump into Joyce’s arms.

Joyce was diagnosed with cancer in September 2020. Her fight was long and unbearable at times, yet she was sustained by her faith in the Lord. She lived her life as if God was whispering to her, “Lean on me, I’ve got you.” Through her arduous battle, she maintained her life’s outlook: “Wake up every morning and choose joy.”

Joyce Barak was a gift to many. She was and will remain our gift giver to her loving family members and friends.

She is survived by her husband, Doug Barak, Hermiston; sons, Jared Barak, Anchorage, Alaska and Nathan Barak and his wife Elly, Hermiston; grandson, Hayes; brothers, Jim Lilly, Hermiston, Jerry Lilly, Boise, Idaho and Jay Lilly, Central Point; sister, Jan Cook, Pendleton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 at 11 a.m. at New Hope Community Church, 1350 S. Highway 395, Hermiston.

Contributions in Joyce’s memory may be made to Special Olympics #510 in care of Kristi Smalley, 405 W. Moore Ave., Hermiston, Ore., 97838 or Hermiston Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1096, Hermiston, Ore., 97838.

Please share memories of Joyce with her family at

Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here