Wednesday, July 8, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served.
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.
Romence Road Food Pantry
7028 Oakland Drive
Portage, MI 49024
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With her warm, genuine, and upbeat personality, Joyce DeCrocker was the sort of woman whom everyone wanted to know. She was a hardworking person who gave everything her all while lacing the things she did with grace, finesse, and poise. There was no greater gift in Joyce’s life than her family, and there was nothing she treasured more than witnessing her family tree blossom to include the numerous branches of loved ones who made her so very proud. Although life was not without times of trial for her, her unwavering faith carried her through whatever came her way. Joyce will be deeply missed while her memory is forever cherished by all who were within her reach.
It was great to be an American during the 1920s, but the 1930s were a much different story as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs became scarce, which drove the unemployment rate to over 25 percent, and things only went from bad to worse when a drought covered much of our nation’s heartland for nearly two years during this time. Despite the trials around them, Verlin and Allyene (Kent) Brindley were filled with great anticipation as they were eagerly waiting the birth of their new baby as summer held Allegan, Michigan, firmly in its grip in 1932. Their wait was over when the baby girl they named Joyce drew her first breath on June 28th of that year. She was the 11th of 12 children in her family and was raised in the family home in Cheshire Center alongside her older siblings, Ella, Elva, Dave, Verna, Elmer, Ruby, Lila, Dean, Art, and Lynn, and her younger sister, Gail. Sadly, Lynn died of pneumonia as a toddler.
In many ways, Joyce was a young girl of her generation. Her father worked as a farmer while her mother had more than enough to keep her busy in the home. Life was not easy for Joyce while growing up, but she was resilient and learned valuable lessons that proved to be applicable throughout the rest of her life. She was active in the local 4-H for 18 years, which even took her to Jackson, Mississippi, to compete. Joyce attended local schools and went on to graduate from Allegan County High School in 1950. After high school she held various jobs in different companies on the financial, bookkeeping, and secretarial end of things.
New and exciting changes were in store for Joyce when she met and later married a man named Ray Meshkin. They later discovered they would become parents, but this joy was greatly overshadowed when they discovered that Ray had cancer that same week. With courage and strength, she continued working and caring for him until his death and raised their beautiful son.
Joyce was blessed to find love again with a man named John DeCrocker. He lived and worked in Bloomingdale, and Joyce was there staying at her sister Lila's house. They noticed one another when Joyce often walked by John’s work. They eventually went out on a double date, and although they were there with other people the sparks flew between Joyce and John that night. The rest is history as they say. After falling in love, they were married on January 27, 1962. Together they raised their 2 children and 5 grandchildren including Richard “Rick” and his sons Christopher and Andrew and Laura (Galen) Callahan and their sons Nick, Dan, and Joey. Although Joyce lived in Allegan with her first husband and for a short time after marrying John, she moved to Pennsylvania with John in 1964 when he was transferred there for his job. By the time they moved, Joyce already had her first home paid off. They moved back to Kalamazoo in 1974, living in two different homes before having their condo built near Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
In addition to caring for her home, which she did with ease, Joyce kept busy in many other ways. A talented seamstress, she did some sewing work out of her home, and she also spent some time working as a dental receptionist for local dentist, in the library at Portage West Middle School, and she also had multiple jobs at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Eager to serve, Joyce stepped up to run for office and was elected as the Texas Township clerk. She enjoyed the bookkeeping and cemetery records part of the job, and with her organizational skills it was a great fit for eight years. Even after she was no longer clerk she continued helping at elections. In addition, Joyce was very active at Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church and was instrumental in the prayer chain and food pantry there. She was also known for her awesome soups that she provided for the blood drives. For years, Joyce was a Girl Scout troop leader. She and John enjoyed faithfully watching, “The Young the Restless” together every day, too.
Described as a loving, detail-oriented, and caring person, there was no one who met Joyce DeCrocker and left unchanged. She was a very “take charge” sort of person who did her best in whatever she did with a great sense of humor to boot. Joyce was the sort of person who genuinely wanted to know others, and she took the initiative to get things done. Even when life was difficult, she could always find the positive side, and her zest for life was contagious. Joyce will be forever missed.
Joyce DeCrocker, of Kalamazoo, died on Thursday, July 2, 2015. Members of her family include her husband John; son, Rick DeCrocker and a daughter Laura (Galen) Callahan; 5 grandsons: Christopher, Andrew, Nick (soon to be grand daughter-in-law Kelsey DeWindt), Dan, Joey; 2 sisters: Lila Dickerson and Gail Brindley; and sisters-in law: Lorraine Heckman and Esther Hartgerink. Learn more about Joyce and visit with her family and friends on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (375-2900). Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 7028 Oakland Drive, Portage and burial will be at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Joyce’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Romence Road Food Pantry.