Life Story Funeral Homes®
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Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Joyce Elizabeth Steeby

August 4, 2023
Schoolcraft, MI




Joyce Elizabeth Steeby, age 90, passed away August 4, 2023 at Rest Haven Care Center in Holland, Michigan after losing her battle with Alzheimer's. She was born July 5, 1933 in Kalamazoo to the late Romeo and Anna (Cooley) Frey.

Joyce spent nearly her entire life in Schoolcraft. She attended Schoolcraft Schools and later earned her Education degree at Western Michigan University. She met the love of her life, Gary Steeby, at WMU, and they eventually married in 1956 on the campus at Kanley Chapel. She began her teaching career with Kalamazoo Public Schools. After losing her daughter, Julie Ann, in 1967, she became a full-time stay-at-home mother, focusing on her children. She was a founding member of the Schoolcraft Historical Society and a member of the Schoolcraft Ladies Library Association. As her children grew, she decided to go back to teaching as a substitute for Schoolcraft Schools. She later earned her realtor's license so she could occasionally help Gary with his business. Joyce's family and grandchildren were extremely dear to her; she especially looked forward to her grown children and their families filling her home with love and laughter at Christmas. She loved to research her family's history and enjoyed tracing her genealogy. She also loved traveling "out East" which led to her and Gary taking the entire family to Massachusetts for the 40th annual Cooley Family Reunion in 1996. Joyce and Gary also enjoyed hosting gatherings at "The Five Acres"; a highlight was their Winter Sleigh Fest. Joyce was instrumental in the creation and support of the annual Gary Steeby Memorial Tennis Program at Schoolcraft Schools. Joyce also enjoyed crafting, antiquing, and she attended Calvary Bible Church from 1998 until she moved to Holland in 2020.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Gary Allen Steeby; daughter, Julie Ann Steeby; sister and brother-in-law Esther and Darrell Brush; brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Nancy Frey; and sister-in-law Sandra (David) Frey.

She is survived by her children, Jon (Julie) Steeby, Mark (Nadia) Steeby, and Jennifer (John) Ruiter; grandchildren, Jillian (Jimi) Russell, Justin (Sarah) Steeby, Ashton and Jacob Steeby, and Peter, Luke, and Elizabeth Ruiter; great-grandchildren, Ellis, Ford, Owen, and Ava; brother David Frey; sister, Phyllis Frey; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Thursday, August 10, 2023 from 5-7:00pm at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. The funeral service will take place Friday, August 11 at 11:00am at the funeral home, where a lunch will follow. Joyce will be laid to rest at Schoolcraft Cemetery on the corner of Lyons Street and US 131.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Joyce's memory to Calvary Bible Memorial Fund, Schoolcraft Community Library, or Hospice of Holland.

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