Joyce Marie Ilmberger, 85, of Allegan, MI passed away Thursday, July 20, 2023 at her home with her family at her side. Born March 5, 1938, in Watson Township, she was the daughter of the late Fred Bishop Clark and Rebecca Helen (Hathaway) Clark and was the wife of John Joseph Ilmberger. Joyce was a longtime member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church where she had served on the Altar Society.
Joyce met the love of her life, John Joseph Ilmberger, when he asked her for a ride in her red 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air Convertible. They married on June 27, 1959 and together raised 3 children.
Quiet and reserved, Joyce expressed her love to family and friends with her amazing cooking, baking & sewing skills creating her own wedding dress, as well as her daughter's wedding dresses, and many Halloween costumes and prom dresses. Her art of baking, enjoyed by so many, extended to elaborately decorated cakes and mouthwatering pastries. John and Joyce had enjoyed gardening together with large vegetable and flower gardens every season. Joyce was even known, in her younger years, to drive the tractor alongside her husband and father-in-law during haying season for the family farm.
Early in her career as a secretary she worked for the FCC monitoring station in Allegan. She worked with Weldon Rumery in the insurance business, and later part-time at Local Finance in Allegan with Harry Tibbitts. After raising her family, she wanted to rejoin the workforce and started her dream of owning a fabric store, "Joyce's Fabrics and Crafts" in downtown Allegan. She also worked as an assistant for Allegan Area Chamber of Commerce before retiring from the Allegan County News as a typesetter.
Joyce is survived by her husband of sixty-four years, John; children, Robin (Ward) Granger, Carol (Randy) Sneller and Jay (Leah) Ilmberger; brother, Robert Clark; grandchildren, D.J. (Taylor) Bentley, Sam (Emily) Granger, Joe (Sarah) Granger and Macy Ilmberger, a great-grandson, Hans Granger, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by sisters Louise Houghey and Luella Jesiek.
The family will receive friends at Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM with the Rosary being said at 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Joyce will be laid to rest immediately following the mass in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 110 N. Cedar Street, Allegan, MI 49010; or Wings of Hope Hospice, 530 Linn Street, Allegan, MI 49010.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Joyce's caregivers, especially Wings of Hope Hospice who supported Joyce and family with their excellent care.