Obituary of Joyce E Van Tress
Joyce Elinor Van Tress went home to be with Jesus on May 4, 2023, at 5:30 pm. She was surrounded by family as hymns played softly in the background and her son read to her out of the Psalms.
Joyce was born on November 8, 1934, at her grandmother's home in Decatur, IL to Perry and Rosamond Herman because her mother said they were mixing up babies at the hospital. She grew up on a small farm with her sisters, Dolores, and Charlene. Joyce graduated from Cerro Gordo high school as the valedictorian of her class and was on the dean's list throughout her four years in college. This was no small feat according to Joan Gregg, Joyce’s best friend from high school. Joyce always took challenging classes instead of easy ones. Joyce earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State Normal University. She chose this degree, one that was new at the time, because she felt these students were special and should be included in the public education system. In her photo albums, we found pictures lovingly labeled with the full name of each of her students, or her ‘kids’, as she called them.
In 1958 she met Gene Van Tress at a YWCA dance, and it was love at first sight. They were married on July 12, 1959, and they went on to live a beautiful life together in Virginia, Hawaii, and Colorado with their two children.
Joyce spent her entire life loving Jesus and felt an immense joy when she told others about God’s love. She also loved her family, giving back, sewing, baking, camping, raising grandkids, and journaling. She volunteered for a variety of organizations including The Church of the Good Shepherd, which was her church for 44 years, Right to Life, Club 45, Child Evangelism Fellowship, House of Neighborly Services, Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, and many more. Her family is blessed to have a journal entry for almost every day of her entire life, which they all believe is what kept her memory so sharp. She will always be remembered for the love and kindness she showed everyone she met, her cookies and pumpkin muffins, long phone calls just to catch up and her beautiful belly laugh.
Joyce always put family first and was a loving mother, a supportive daughter and sister, and the absolute perfect grandma and great-grandma. She joined many of her family members in heaven including her loving husband Gene, her parents, her sister Dolores, her brothers-in-law, and many friends.
She is survived by her sister, Charlene, daughter Tenley (Brandon) Roeder, son Curt (Lara) Van Tress; 5 grandkids Sheena (Chad) Crowe, Tanis (Steve) Lauer, Davin,
Mariah (Garrett) Vasquez and Alex; and 2 great-grandkids Carter and Emry Crowe.
A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, July 12 at 10:30am at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland with reception after service. Memorial contributions can be made to the House of Neighborly Services, https://www.honservice.org/get-involved/donate.html, in Joyce’s name.
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