Elaine Joyce Tripp: A gourmet cook, her greatest joy was her family

(For an audio version of this obituary, scroll to the bottom)

Elaine Joyce (D’Assisi) Tripp passed away peacefully at her Edmonds, Washington home on Thursday, May 6, 2021. She was 87 years old.

Joyce was born on January 25, 1934, in Spokane, Washington, the youngest child of Vito Joseph and Virginia Amelia (Leonetti) D’Assisi. She always spoke fondly of her childhood and the fun she had riding her bike, swimming, and playing in the snowy Spokane winters. As a teenager Joyce moved with her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Nick Scarpelli, to Okanogan, Washington. She attended Okanogan High School for two years, where she served as sophomore class President. Joyce was active in sports, playing golf, basketball, volleyball, and even winning a gold ribbon in girls’ singles table tennis. She came back to Spokane with Mary and Nick and graduated from North Central High School.

Joyce worked most of her adult life as a hairdresser, starting at a high-end salon in Spokane, and for many years at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon at the downtown Seattle Frederick and Nelson store.

Joyce moved to Edmonds at the age of 25, where she raised her family and continued her active lifestyle, including golfing, tennis, and running. She loved to play cards, hosting bridge club, playing poker, teaching her kids the Italian card game scopa, and hitting the blackjack tables. She was a voracious reader of mostly mysteries and spy thrillers, but enjoyed a good comedic light read as well. She even mastered a Kindle, one of her favorite gifts. Joyce loved to travel, visiting California’s wine country and Mexico several times. She also was able to travel to Italy, taking two of her children and their spouses and her oldest grandchild with her. She enjoyed all the little markets and the beautiful piazzas and the slower paced Italian lifestyle.

Above all, Joyce’s greatest joy was her family, and her favorite way to express that joy was through her amazing cooking. While her specialty was, of course, Italian, she enjoyed researching and trying recipes from many different cuisines. She was active in her gourmet club, which introduced her to a broad range of flavors and techniques. Her favorite holiday of the year was Christmas Eve, all her children and grandchildren would gather to celebrate “The Feast of The Seven Fishes.” Joyce loved the chaos of everyone in the kitchen cooking at the same time, supervising to make sure every dish was done right. The resulting meal truly was a feast. Because of her guidance all of Joyce’s children share her passion for cooking.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Vito and Virginia D’Assisi, her brother Larry “Babe” D’Assisi, and her sister Mary Scarpelli. She leaves behind her four children, Mark Tripp, Jolene (John) Stephens, John (Caitlin) Tripp, Andrea (Peter) Gradwohl, and her four grandchildren, Austin Tripp, and Max, Sophie, and Major Gradwohl.

After her interment on the afternoon of June 25, 2021 at Beck’s Restlawn Cemetery, Joyce’s family and friends gathered for an Italian feast to celebrate her life.

Please share memories at www.beckstributecenter.com.

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