Thursday, February 15, 2024
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EST
4575 Remembrance Road NW
Walker, MI 49534
Life Story / Obituary
Joyce Ann Veenstra was a woman of warm smiles, twinkling eyes, and a laugh that could light up any room. Known for her easy-going demeanor, she navigated life with grace and resilience, leaving a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to have known her.
Joyce was born in the bustling city of Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 18, 1949, a time when the echoes of the Second World War were still fresh and the world was on the brink of unprecedented change. Her parents, Kenneth and Laverne Veenstra, had settled on Remembrance Road, cultivating a hobby farm that would become the backdrop of Joyce's childhood. She was the second child in the family, following her brother, Ken Jr. Joyce quickly adapted to the rhythm of farm life, assisting with chores and developing a strong work ethic that would follow her throughout her life.
As a young girl, Joyce discovered her love for camping, a passion that would stay with her for many years. She found solace in the great outdoors and cherished the time spent in nature. Alongside her parents, who were charter members of Remembrance Reformed Church, Joyce became an active member of the church community, a commitment that would remain steadfast in her life.
Joyce attended Kenowa Hills High School before pursuing further education through college courses. She eventually found her long-term employment at Insurance Data Services, where she worked for an impressive 40 years. Over time, she became the respected manager of the Human Resources Department, enjoying her work and making a lasting impact on her colleagues. Joyce's dedication and professionalism were evident in the wonderful retirement party thrown in her honor. However, her commitment to the company was so valued that she agreed to stay on for a short while longer, leading to another retirement celebration two years later.
While initially living on her own on McReynolds Street in the northwest side of Grand Rapids, Joyce returned to her parents' home to provide them with support. She remained in that cherished home for the rest of her life, finding comfort and solace within its walls. In her free time, Joyce explored various hobbies, including ceramics and painting ceramics, but her true passion lay in shopping. She had a keen eye for finding unique treasures and thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of discovering new items.
Traveling was another great love of Joyce's life. Her favorite destination was the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which she visited faithfully every year. The rugged beauty and tranquility of the region captivated her, and she created countless cherished memories there. Joyce also had a deep affection for Mackinac Island, savoring the timeless charm and idyllic surroundings. Throughout her life, she embarked on numerous road trips, exploring the majority of states across the country. Often accompanied by her mother or her cousin, Marlene, who was more like a sister, Joyce relished the adventures and experiences they shared.
Lighthouses held a special place in Joyce's heart, and she delighted in visiting them whenever possible. Her passion for these beacons of light was evident in the countless photographs she took during her visits.
Family was paramount to Joyce, and she treasured the time spent with her nieces and nephews. She took her nephews camping during their youth and treated her nieces to memorable shopping trips. Holidays were always filled with joy and laughter as they gathered together. Although cooking wasn't her forte, Joyce had a talent for making delicious fudge, a treat that was eagerly anticipated by all.
In 1998, tragedy struck when both Joyce's brother and father passed away within a few months of each other. Despite the immense grief, Joyce remained a pillar of strength for her mother, providing unwavering support and love.
Throughout her life, Joyce embodied an easygoing and laid-back nature. While she may have formed opinions about various situations, she had a remarkable ability to keep them to herself. Her friendly and outgoing demeanor endeared her to everyone she met, and her genuine interest in others made them feel valued and heard. As a dedicated member of her church, Joyce served as a deacon and was actively involved in the welcoming team, ensuring that everyone felt embraced and accepted.
Joyce cherished her family and friends. Their love and support meant the world to her, and she cherished every moment spent with them.
Tragically, Joyce passed away unexpectedly at her beloved home, leaving a void in the hearts of all who knew her. Her memory will forever be carried in the laughter she shared, the love she gave, and the twinkle in her eyes.
In remembrance of Joyce Ann Veenstra, let us find solace in the beauty of nature, just as she did. May the sight of a lighthouse or the sound of joyful laughter bring her spirit to mind. And as we journey through life, may we embrace the warmth and kindness that Joyce so effortlessly radiated, keeping her memory alive in our hearts.
Joyce A. Veenstra, age 74 of Walker, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on February 4, 2024. She was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth and Laverne Veenstra; her brother, Ken Veenstra Jr. ; and nephew Troy Veenstra. Joyce is survived by her nieces and nephews Eric Veenstra, Laura (Josh) McCall, Alisha Veenstra, Tyler (fiancée Angel) Guild; great nieces and nephews Emilee Veentra-McCall, Abel and Griffin McCall; sister-in-law Roxanne (Jim) Guild; special cousin, Marlene Russell, as well as several other cousins and many friends.
Joyce was a lifelong member of Remembrance Reformed Church where her funeral service will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 1 PM. Friends are invited to visit with her family beginning at 12 PM and for a time immediately following the service. To read more about Joyce, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit HeritageLifeStory.com