Joyce Louise Kelley, through God's grace, transitioned to her heavenly home on Thursday May 25, 2023. The daughter of Douglas and Lois (Schmidt) Knauss, Joyce was born on March 29, 1936, in Kalamazoo where she lived for most of her 87 years. She married Robert Kelley on June 26, 1954, in Hickory Corners, Michigan.
Strong in her Christian faith, Joyce was an elder and longtime member of Bethel Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. She taught Sunday School and helped with youth groups, served on various committees, and helped with the church food pantry as well as working in the church kitchen. She enjoyed bible study fellowship and Southern gospel music with the Bill Gaither Trio being her favorite.
A devoted wife and mother, Joyce made a loving home for her family. She sewed clothing, knitted hats and mittens, and cooked wholesome meals for her family. She made the most delicious baked goods, decorated cakes, and spent summers working in her garden. She grew plenty of vegetables and fruits for canning, freezing, and making jellies and jams. Family vacations were a priority for spending quality time together. The Kelley's visited the Rocky Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Yellowstone National Park as well as taking many camping trips throughout the years. As her children grew up and started families of their own, Joyce's grandchildren became her focus as she was intent on spending time with them. A new tradition was born when she began reserving every Friday for her grandchildren while their parents worked.
Married for 52 years, Joyce and Bob's commitment to each other, mutual respect, communication, and compromise made for a happy successful marriage. It was heartwarming to see the love they shared and the companionship with which they were blessed. They enjoyed traveling to Hawaii and Florida, visiting Amish country and shopping at the flea market in Shipshewana, Indiana, and visiting historical sites, including one of their favorites, Williamsburg, Virginia. They were involved in their church together and enjoyed spending time with their family.
A woman with Christian values, Joyce was kind, concerned for others, and honest. She unselfishly gave her time to church, her spouse, and her children. She was independent and strong-willed, but also appreciated everyone and any small kindness shown to her. She leaves her daughter, Debbie (Don) Hale of Kalamazoo; sons, Gerald Kelley (Tanya Betke) of Kalamazoo and Scott (Vikki) Kelley of Cheboygan; daughter-in-law, Teri Hybarger of Indiana; as well as nine grandchildren, Andrea Hale, Kelli Hale, Renee Hawkins, Katherine, Alexander, Amber, Cory, Cooper, and Rudi Kelley; nine great grandchildren; and her sister, Sharon Rice of Paw Paw.
Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Robert in 2006; son, Jim Kelley; and brothers, Richard, Gerald, and Dave.
Visitation will be held Wednesday May 31, 2023 from 10 AM until the time of the funeral service beginning at 11:00 AM at the Greenwood Reformed Church, 1815 Winton Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49001. Reverend Dave Armstrong will officiate. Joyce's final resting place will be in Hickory Corners at East Hickory Corners Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers please consider a donation in memory of Joyce to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes at www.kzoolf.org or McLaren Home Care and Hospice at www.mclaren.org. Funeral arrangements are in care of Chagnon Funeral Home, Onaway, Michigan.
Chagnon Funeral Home