Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Joyce Pleune

November 18, 1921 - January 29, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI



Friday, February 2, 2018
2:00 PM EST
Clark Retirement Community Chapel
1551 Franklin Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Visitation from 1 PM until the service. Use Parking lot on Sherman Street next to chapel.


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Creston Christian Reformed Church Christian Education fund
238 Spencer NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Joyce Pleune was a strong and independent woman and devoted Christian. She lived a life full of positivity, happiness, and adventure, especially in her travels. Her family was kept at the center of her heart throughout her 96 years in this life. We will miss Joyce dearly.

Just before Joyce began her life, the 20's decade was dawning. The 1920’s era marked a time in history during which Americans were relieved from World War I and were looking to spark the excitement life could potentially offer again. New styles in clothing, music, and entertainment were broadly explored. Prohibition was in full effect, and bootleggers were busy while many citizens frequented speakeasies to quench their thirst. In 1921, America’s favorite pastime of baseball made the news with Babe Ruth’s career home run record break of 59 in one season - a record he held for nearly forty years. Also in baseball news, the Chicago White Sox baseball team was accused of throwing off the World Series. The scientific historic figure, Albert Einstein, received the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Closer to home, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Edward and Jessie (VanDellen) Pleune welcomed their precious daughter into the world. On November 18, 1921, Bertha Joyce became the little sister of Edna. The girls spent their childhood years on the NE side of Grand Rapids in a home located on the corner of Eastern and Knapp. Their parents instilled great values and a deep Christian faith; they were faithful members of the Creston Christian Reformed Church. Joyce and Edna enjoyed visiting their family's farms off Grand River Drive where they were able to take in the fresh air and the country landscape. On occasion, her family would take car trips during which many memories were created together.

As she matured, Joyce attended Creston High School. Always one to appreciate working hard and devoting herself to improving her situation, she earned her teaching certificate at the University of Grand Rapids. Joyce spent five years teaching elementary school before heading back to earn certification in Library Science. Craving even more for her career, she went to Calvin College earning her bachelor's degree in education. From there, she obtained her master's degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan.

Once Joyce settled in with a job, she was fully dedicated to it. She worked at the Kent County Library for 34 years. She began working in basic positions and worked her way up to the Director of Library where she stayed for many years.

Joyce put her heart and soul into her work. She embraced this aspect of her life more so than working around the house. She surrounded herself with family, for she lived in her childhood home with her parents for many years; their home was also close to her sister's. Aunt Joyce was a regular visitor in her sister's home, as she joined them for family meals on either Saturday night or Sunday afternoons. Edna was thankful to have her close by because she helped with the children. During several years when Edna was having troubles, Joyce's presence was especially appreciated.

When she was not working or spending time with her family, Joyce had many interests. Her spiritual life only grew larger as the years passed. She looked forward to Sunday mornings because she could share her love of the Lord with children as their Sunday School teacher. Joyce participated in the activities with the singles women group there as well. She was a talented organist and pianist but chose to keep that passion separate from her joys in church, so she never played during church services.

In time, her father moved to Holland Home. Joyce decided to find an apartment and later a condominium. This new living arrangement did not keep her from regularly visiting with her family. In fact, she began to travel extensively, but she would return home with many trinkets and gifts for her niece and nephews. Her worldly travels were enjoyed with groups and even sometimes on her own, for she always had an independent nature. Some of her favorite destinations included China and Russia among many other amazing places.

In her 70's, Joyce opted to move to Clark Retirement Community. Though she was not comfortable in new settings, she soon made this place her home for the rest of her days. Here she made many friendships, shared her fierce opinions, and sometimes found time to read - one of her favorite pastimes.

The last five years were quite difficult for Joyce because her mind was clouded with the challenges of dementia. She maintained the constants in her life, however, always loving the Lord Dearly and praying each day for her blessings. Sadly, we are forced to part ways for now, as Joyce went home to be with her Lord and Savior on January 29, 2018. We will hold the memories we shared with Joyce close to our hearts, and she will never be forgotten.

Joyce Pleune, age 96 of Grand Rapids, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on January 29, 2018. She was preceded in death by her parents Edward and Jessie Pleune, and sister, Edna (Jay) VanderBee. Joyce is survived by her nephews and niece Jonathan (Joyce) VanderBee, David VanderBee, Jackie (Mike) Olmstead; grand nieces Rebecca, Tami, Amanda, and Kari. Joyce was a longtime member of Creston Christian Reformed Church. She worked for 34 years for the Kent County Library, working her way to being the Library Director for many years. Joyce has lived at Clark Retirement Community where the service to remember and celebrate her life will be held in the chapel on Friday, February 2, 2018, at 2 PM. Friends are invited to visit with her family beginning at 1 PM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Creston Christian Reformed Church Christian Education Fund are appreciated. To read more about her life, to share a memory or sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com