ATHEN, JOYCE

Joyce A. Athen 1934-2019 Joyce Arlene (Hart) Athen, 85, of Shenandoah and formerly of Northboro, passed away on Saturday evening, May 11, 2019 at the Shenandoah Medical Center. Joyce was born on April 8, 1934, in a little farmhouse outside of Northboro, Iowa to Raymond and Edythe (Bayless) Hart. It was on the farm that she spent her childhood along with her brother, Duane. Joyce attended the Northboro School, where she played basketball, graduating with the Class of 1952. She was the only girl in a class of seven boys. After graduation, Joyce married Roland Athen of Riverton, Iowa and to this union five children were born, Larry, Michael, Sandra, Jimmy and Susan. When the marriage ended Joyce became both mother and father to her young children. Her greatest accomplishment in her life was her children. Joyce began working for the United States Post Office in 1976, retiring in 1997. A woman of many talents, she sewed many beautiful items, painted pictures, did tole painting, china painting, made china dolls and decorated wedding cakes. But her most precious things to do were attending her kids, grandkids and great grandkids' activities. She was always there to support them and could be found on the bleachers cheering them on. There were many times she had several grandkids' activities to attend in one week. Preceding Joyce in death were her parents, Raymond and Edythe Hart; grandson, Alan Kirchert; and her beloved cat, "Boots". Joyce will be deeply missed by her children, Larry (Pat Kirchert), Mike (Pam Parker), Sandra Apperson (Rick Apperson), Jim (Debbie Pappas) and Susan Opal; grandchildren, Darin Athen (Rhonda Webster), Carla Erickson (Matt), Alan Kirchert (in memoriam) (Michelle Shilhanek), Danny Apperson and fiancée Amanda Jordan, Courtney Apperson, Sierra Athen, Jacob Athen, Nicholas Opal, Hilary Parker and Jay Parker (Jen Heath); great grandchildren, Blake Berndt (Lucas), Devon McBride, Maddy McBride, Dalton Athen, Peyton Athen, Jade Smith, Kody Erickson, Aubrey Erickson, Miah Hummel, Mazzy Hummel, Sam Hummel, Emma Hummel, Kendall Parker, Ally Parker and Breanne Parker; two great-great grandchildren, Drake Berndt and Amelia Berndt; brother and sister-in-law, Duane and Marj Hart; nephews and niece, Kelly and Donnatta Hart, Jeff Hart and Jodi Geditz, David and Susan Hart, Mike and Megan Stairs; and many cousins, other relatives and friends. A celebration of life funeral service for Joyce was held on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:30 AM at the Northboro United Methodist Church with Rev. Rick Sleyster officiating. The family greeted relatives and friends with visitation and viewing from 5:00 to 7:00 pm Thursday at the Nishna Valley Funeral Home in Shenandoah. One of Elvis' biggest fans, Joyce had special music by Elvis, "He Touched Me", "Peace In The Valley" and "Memories". Casket bearers were Larry Athen, Michael Athen, Jim Athen, Darin Athen, Dan Apperson, Jacob Athen, Nick Opal, Jay Parker, Devon McBride and Rick Apperson. Honorary bearers were Sandy Apperson, Susan Opal, Patricia Athen, Debbie Pappas, Pam Athen, Carla Erickson, Courtney Apperson, Sierra Athen, Hiliary Parker, Blake Berndt and Maddy McBride. Attending the register was Pat Athen. Flower attendants were Pam Athen and Deb Pappas. Ushers were Jerry Gomel and Rick Apperson. Memorials in Joyce's name may be directed to the Northboro Betterment Committee. Burial took place in the Union Grove Cemetery at Northboro, next to her parents. Professional arrangements were under the direction of Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Service in Shenandoah. Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at: swimemorial.com on the web.

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