Alberta Joyce Smith was born on September 12, 1942 in a farmhouse in the Caledonia area south of Mount Ayr, Iowa. Born to Eva Maye (Waddell) and Albert Henry Deemer, she joined sisters Laverne Eloise and Lois Elaine. Nine years later younger sister Pamela Lynn was born, and the family of Deemer girls was complete. Joyce grew up on the farm, going to country school from Kindergarten through eighth grade. It was a big change when she went all the way into Mount Ayr to attend High School.
On December 11, 1960, Joyce and Max Everett Smith were united in marriage at the Nazarene Church in Leon, Iowa. They lived in Leon for a short while, and their family started growing with the birth of Lesa Michelle. After moving back to Mount Ayr, they welcomed their son, Jeffrey Todd, and daughters Sherri Lynn and Sheila Ann.
Joyce was a homemaker, taking various jobs that worked around her children’s schedules. For a few years she worked at McNeiley’s Drug Store and then for Mitchell Drug. She was very active in the United Methodist Church and devoted countless hours over many years to the service work of the United Methodist Women. She also trained and served as a volunteer chaplain for Hospice. Taking care of granddaughter Kiley started Joyce’s adventures in being a childcare provider, and she was instrumental in the startup of a childcare facility in Mount Ayr. Drawing on her experiences with that, she contributed to the formation of the senior center in Mount Ayr.
In the 1990’s, with her kids raised, Joyce answered the call to ministry and became a licensed local pastor in the United Methodist Church. Joyce had many fond memories of her time with the people of her congregations. She loved being a part of the special times in their lives, from births to confirmations to weddings and funerals. When husband Max retired in 2004, Joyce retired as well. It was time to do some traveling and have some fun.
Joyce and husband Max made many visits to see children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews throughout the Western United States. They enjoyed bus trips to the East Coast and Southeastern United States. Joyce spoke often of the fun times on the trips, and in between trips she enjoyed getting together to play cards with friends met while traveling.
With plans already in the works for more travels, Joyce was devastated to be diagnosed with glioblastoma in early 2019. The effects were swift and severe, and her earthly life ended on November 23, 2019.
Joyce was preceded in death by parents Albert and Eva (Waddell) Deemer, parents-in-law Mansel and Wonda (Boles) Smith, sisters Laverne (Dee) Kaus, Lois Johnson, brothers-in-law Neil Kidney, Charles MacDonald, son-in-law Randy Seynaeve.
Joyce is survived by her husband Max Smith of Mount Ayr; son Jeff (Tammy) Smith of Brighton, Colorado, daughters Lesa (Rick) Klouda, Sheila (Tony) Perreault all of Silverdale, Washington, Sherri Seynaeve of Vancouver, Washington; grandchildren Kiley (Ryan) Gerhardy, Chad (Katelyn) Rouse, Tanner Smith, Emily (Jacob) Elder, Joshua Seynaeve, Benjamin Le, Alexander Le, Elijah Le, Jennifer Black, Anica Klouda, Landon (Tiffany) Klouda, Alexandra (Daniel) Ostrand, Nicholas Perreault, Karissa Perreault; 13 great grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; sister Pamela Heckathorn of Scottsdale, AZ; sister-in-law Kay MacDonald of Storm Lake and brothers-in-law Kenny Johnson of Mount Ayr and Neal Kaus of Canada.
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