Who Was Joyce Simdars, Joe Rantz Wife? Boys In The Boat Movie

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Joe Rantz and wife Joyce Simdars graduated on the same day from the University of Washington. They also walked down the aisle that same evening. 

From childhood love to marriage, Joe and Joyce’s love story isn’t less than a fairytale. The two were there to celebrate each other’s success and lived a happy married life until Joyce’s demise in 2002. 

Joe Rantz Pictured During His Time As The Washington University's Athlete
Joe Rantz Pictured During His Time As The Washington University’s Athlete (Source: Twitter)

The 1936 Olympic Gold medalist Joe Rantz faced many challenges to become an Olympic-level athlete. He was abandoned by his father and hated by his stepmother. But he never gave up on dreaming big.  

His life story was brought to attention by Daniel James Brown with the book, “The Boys in the Boat.” Now, the Hollywood actor/director, George Clooney, has brought his story to the screens. 

Joe Rantz Wife: Get To Know Joyce Simdars

The Olympic gold medalist Joe Rantz lived a happy married life with the love of his life for 63 years. It was only Joyce’s death in 2002 that separated the two.

The movie The Boys In The Boat has highlighted the couple’s relationship, with many saying it is a perfect depiction of their real-life love story. The two met when Joe was attending school in Sequim, Washington.

Sequim is also where Joe’s father, Harry Rantz, abandoned his son to cater to his second wife, Thula, who hated little Joe. Joe and Joyce’s love story began with them becoming friends at first. 

On The Left: Joe And Joyce On The Day Of Their Graduation And Wedding, And On The Right: Callum Turner And Hadley Robinson Playing Them In The Movie
On The Left: Joe And Joyce On The Day Of Their Graduation And Wedding, And On The Right: Callum Turner And Hadley Robinson Playing Them In The Movie (Source: Twitter)

Born on November 7, 1915, Joyce’s parents, Otto August Simdars and Madge Enid Thomason raised their daughter in King, Washington. The childhood sweethearts, Joe and Joyce, remained together even during college.

The two graduated from the University of Washington in 1939, and that same evening, the two tied the knot. A year after their wedding, Joyce took up a job as a clerk at a doctor’s office. 

The movie shows Joye being there for Joe during his lowest and highest moments. He trusted her, and Joyce was always loyal and protective of her husband. It is also said that Joyce resented Joe’s father for his ill-treatment but kept it to herself out of respect for Joe. 

Joe Rantz Kids

Joe and Joyce Rantz raised five kids, with one of them having passed away last year. Frederick, Judy, Barbie, Jerry, and Jenny were raised in Washington. 

Joe and Joyce’s oldest child, Frederick Otto Rantz, passed away on February 28, 2022, at age 80. He had a stroke on February 18 and lost his life due to the subsequent complications. 

Unlike his father, Frederick decided not to become a professional athlete. But always remained athletic, showing interest in swimming, football, and baseball. He followed his passion for astrology, self-actualization, and other life-coaching topics.

Frederick later became a consultant with Fred Rantz and Associates and a master hypnosis therapist. In his obituary, there has been no mention of his partner, but it’s written that he was survived by five children and eight grandchildren.

Joe Rantz Daughters: Judy And Jenny Have Spoken Publicly 

Judy Willman, Joe Rantz’ daughter, worked tirelessly to bring her father’s story to the light. Judy was the one to introduce the American author Daniel James Brown to her dying father. 

Recently, after the movie was released, Judy has given a few interviews and talked about her father’s life. Joe’s other daughter, Jenny, has also been interviewed by Fox News. 

Jennifer Has Kept Up Her Grandfather's Legacy
Jennifer Has Kept Up Her Grandfather’s Legacy (Source: Twitter)

In 2019, it was revealed that Jenny’s daughter, Jennifer, has carried on her grandfather’s legacy. She began rowing in 2009 and has won 26 medals at the Northwest Regional Championships. 

Today, Jenny lives in Greendale and in her interview, talked about how her father overcame hardships to become a great athlete. 

Sriyukta Pradhananga
Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga is a versatile writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted dimensions of sports. Her articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking commentary that sheds light on the diverse experiences within the athletic realm.


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With a background in journalism and a passion for sports, Sriyukta approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. She strives to illuminate the complexities and nuances of the sports world, sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring readers to engage more deeply with the athletic endeavors that unite us all.

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