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.
Edison Christian Foundation
1000 Edison Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Joy Mol would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved in ways both great and small. There was no greater gift in her life than her family, and Joy considered it both her highest calling and her richest blessing to be a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother many times over. Through the life she lived each day, Joy touched the lives of so many others in such a special way. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
It was great to be an American during the 1920s. Innovation was leading the way to new technology, and among the highlights of the decade were refrigerators, washing machines, and motion pictures in both color and sound. It was also during this time that Levi “Lee” and Sadie (VanZalen) Smitter announced the births of their twin girls, Joy and Faith, on February 6, 1926, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were the oldest of eight to be raised in the family home near the gravel pit on Northland Drive and Grand River Drive as they were joined in their family by their siblings, Nancy, June, Ruth, Rhoda, Cal and Carol. Since their home was out in the country, there weren't many others around. As a result, the siblings were all close as they primarily only had each other as playmates. As one of the oldest in the Smitter family, Joy had many responsibilities from a young age including caring for her younger siblings at times.
From the time she was a young girl, Joy was a bustle of activity. She attended a one-room schoolhouse down the street, and it has been said that she was a girl with a lot of spunk. Joy and her family were members of Creston Christian Reformed Church. She and her sisters were gifted singers who took lessons and also sang together as a quartet for years. Over the years they sang in several churches and also at the conference grounds as the “Smitter Sisters.” Joy went on to graduate from Creston High School, and then became an LPN, working at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
New and exciting changes were in store for Joy when she met a young man at her church who also liked to sing, Ben Mol. They began dating and soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Joy and Ben were married on November 14, 1947. While living in an apartment above his mother’s home, they welcomed into their hearts and home, their first child, Tim. After moving into what would become their home of 50 years on Oaklawn NE, Joy and Ben welcomed two additional children, Linda and Brian, completing their family. Joy remained home as caring for her family was her primary focus. Joy did as much as she could for her children, looking out for them, protecting, nurturing. She devoted her time, heart, and soul to caring for her children, and she was a meticulous housekeeper. While she believed in keeping a neat and orderly home, perfection was never her goal. Every Saturday evening the family would drive to “the country,” which was her parents’ house where all her siblings and their children gathered each week. Together they all shared a meal, played games, regularly sang together, and just enjoyed the company of one another in this way for years. They also rented cottages and vacationed together for years as well. While raising her children, Joy was very active in Creston Christian Reformed Church as a long-time Women's Bible Study leader. Involvement in her church was a central part of Joy's life.
Once her children were older, Joy returned to work part-time as an LPN at Clark Home. Although she knew the value of a dollar and working hard, working also allowed her to do what she did best - care for others. When grandchildren arrived, Joy couldn't have been happier, and spending as much time with her grandchildren as possible was very important to her. She was available to help in whatever way she could, and over the years there were countless sleepovers. Of course her grandchildren always left with a little something special as they parted ways. Joy appreciated spending time with the grandchildren who lived out of town as it also gave them the opportunity to travel and see places they likely wouldn't have seen otherwise. Joy had a special and unique relationship with each family member, and she always had the energy to keep up with the youngest ones.
Joy was always one to keep busy and lived an active life. For years, she and Ben swam at the Forest Hills Aquatic Center, and she loved washing the family car by hand. Joy continually looked out for others in need, and she served others, quietly behind the scenes in a variety of ways. It was easy to see through the way she lived her life that Joy’s mission was to love and care for the people God placed in her path.
With unending love for those around her, Joy Mol was a kind, compassionate, and gentle spirit in the lives of countless others. She wasn’t overly outgoing, but she was a great listener and loved laughing with people. Never one to judge or criticize others, Joy spread her love to all who were near. She lived life to the fullest each day, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. Life will never be the same without Joy here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on her footsteps.
Joy Mol, age 93 of Grand Rapids is now in the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Joy lived a life of faithfulness to her Savior and servanthood to others. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Ben; their children Tim & Kim Mol, Lin & Dave Shatto, Brian & Josephine Mol; grandchildren Brooke (Matt) Clifton, Adam (Melissa) Mol, Matt (Jayne) Shatto, Emily (Matt) Evans, Danielle (Justin) Hall, Lyndsey (Brent) McCann, Nick Slager; several great grandchildren; sisters Nancy VanLopik, June Vellenga, Ruth Rozema, and Carol Kooistra; as well as many nieces and nephews. Joy was preceded in death by her sisters Faith Maliepaard and Rhoda VanLopik, and her brother, Calvin Smitter. A service of celebration of Joy’s life will be held on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW where friends are invited to visit with her family from 10 AM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Edison Christian Foundation are appreciated. To read more about Joy’s life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.