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Joyce (Eilers) Van Deest

March 2, 1939 ~ September 9, 2021 (age 82)

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Joyce Elaine Van Deest, 82, of Grundy Center, IA passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 9th, 2021 at The Western Home-Thuesen Cottage, in Cedar Falls, IA, surrounded by her loving family.

Visitation will be held Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 5:00 - 7:00p.m. at the Engelkes Abels Funeral Home in Grundy Center, IA. Funeral services for Joyce will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021 at the Bethany Presbyterian Church with Pastor Tom Wiles officiating.  Following services Joyce will be laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery in Grundy Center and then the family asks for a time of fellowship to honor Joyce at Bel Pre Park at 300 J. Avenue in Grundy Center. Memorial contributions may be directed in Joyce’s name to her family which will be designated later. For further information or to leave a condolence please visit Engelkes Abels Funeral Home is caring for Joyce and her family.

Joyce Elaine Eilers was born on March 2nd, 1939 in Grundy Center, Iowa.  She was the daughter of Joe and Pearl (Ruter) Eilers. Joyce was raised in rural Dike and educated at country school Lincoln #3 until 8th grade and then continued her education in Dike where she graduated from Dike High School with the class of 1957.  

Joyce was united in marriage to Norman John Van Deest at the Bethany Presbyterian Church in Grundy Center on March 11, 1957, Joyce and Norman were married for 63 years. From this union they had four children: Roland, Laura, Nancy and Paul.  Norman and Joyce farmed in Grundy County. Joyce was a very hardworking woman and would always stay busy helping out on the family farm and raising her children. After her youngest son graduated, Joyce worked for ten years at the Grundy Center Preschool; she loved her time there taking care of all the babies. Joyce was a proud member of the Bethany Presbyterian Church as well as the Ladies Church Circle. Norman and Joyce wintered in Texas for many years and loved their time spent there with family and friends. Joyce enjoyed playing pepper for many years with her ladies card club and going to the casino to try her luck. She loved to bake and was always trying both old and new recipes for her family. She had a passion for bird watching and doing crafts of all kinds, spending time outdoors in the garden and tending to her flowers. Her absolute greatest joy came from the time and memories spent with grandchildren and great grandchildren. Joyce was loved by so many and will be greatly missed.

Left to cherish Joyce’s life are her children: Roland (Amy Ihde) Van Deest of Hartshone, OK; Laura (Curtis) Hopper of Keystone, IA; Nancy (Mark) Jungling of Grundy Center and Paul (Gina) Van Deest of Peck, KS; grandchildren: Marissa Joyce Hopper, Chloe (Ben) Kaplan, Nathan (Jorden Lewis) Jungling, Matthew (Jordyn Harper) Jungling, Haley (Patrick) Bierman, Nick (Amber) Van Deest, Reed (Kayla Clouse) Van Deest and Paige Van Deest; great-grandchildren: Maple Kaplan, Elijah Blinks, Emma Joyce Jungling and Jensen Jungling; brother: Wayne (Judy) Eilers; sister-in-law: Lynda Strait as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Norman Van Deest, her parents: Joe and Pearl Eilers; infant brother Claus, sisters: Gladys Bowers, June Rhoads, Genevieve Venenga and Adele Pruin. Brothers Marlyn and Kenneth Eilers. Brother-in-laws, Howard Bowers, Dusty Rhoads, Elgin Venenga, and Bert Pruin. Sister-in-laws, Ruth Eilers and Deloris Eilers. Nephews Kent and Keith Alberts and niece Kay Nielsen. Nephew-in-laws: Rodney Flater, Walter Crosley, and Gary Paszkiewicz. Great-granddaughter, Rowen Bierman.


To send flowers to Joyce's family, please visit our floral store.


September 19, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Engelkes - Chapel, Grundy Center

Funeral Service
September 20, 2021

10:00 AM
Bethany Presbyterian Church
315 G Ave
Grundy Center, IA 50638

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