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Obituaries » Joyce L. Stuifbergen

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September 12, 1934 - January 25, 2024

A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. noon at St. Andrew Community Church, 3631 Covington Rd., Kalamazoo. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Andrew Community Church.

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STUIFBERGEN, Joyce L. (Oeschger)
Passed from life to Life on January 25, 2024, in her home attended by her husband, daughter and caregivers.

Born September 12, 1934, Joyce graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School where she met and eventually married, William Thomas Stuifbergen, Jr., her husband of nearly 70 years.

Joyce attended Western Michigan University where she majored in Occupational Therapy and minored in Music. She was mother to four children and mentor to countless others.

Although many people have quoted ‘Bloom where you are planted’, Joy made sure her family understood that these weren’t merely words, but a call to action; a way of being and living fully. This sentiment, framed and posted in their family home, was a constant reminder to all that each of us has purpose, and an opportunity to make a difference in the world through challenge and opportunity; the expected and the unexpected.

Joyce was a member of the United Methodist Church where she gave her time and talents as Director of Music for several decades. Eventually, she joined St. Andrew Community Church where she carried on in service for a time.

She was a pianist, composer, director of choirs, and children’s summer music camps. Joyce was active in the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, and a long-time member of the ‘Tuesday Musicale’. In later years, she continued as accompanist for the Prime Time Players.

She said many times that her greatest joy was being a wife and mother. As a mother to a special needs son, Joyce was an advocate for the rights of the disabled. Along with her husband, Bill, she embodied what it meant to live a life of acceptance, inclusiveness, and loving kindness. She had an indomitable spirit, generosity that knew no bounds, and a truly incredible sense of humor. She lived a life of faith, of quiet service, of caregiving, of creating beauty through her actions and in her music.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Manton and Helen Oeschger and son, Paul Stuifbergen.

She is survived by her loving family; husband, Bill Stuifbergen; son, Scott Stuifbergen (Linda); daughters, Lisa Capotosto (John) and Debbie Reeder (Tim); grandchildren, Danielle Joyce Armstrong, fiancé (Gary Grahs), Leslie Ibarra (Erick), Jacob Stuifbergen, William Reeder (Kristen), Luke Reeder (Chantal); great grandchildren, Jameson Armstrong, Elizabeth and Isaac Ibarra; sister, Jean Tsuji (Thomas), and nephews James Tsuji, and Robert Tsuji.

The family would like to express their immense gratitude to those who cared for Joyce; Jim Dyke, friend and pastor of St. Andrew Community Church; Liz Baker who provided care, love, and support for these past four years; Sandra Lassitter for all her help and care, and to all the caregivers at Centrica Care Navigators who provided support for Joyce.