Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Joyce Siler would agree that she was one of the most fascinating people around. She was hardworking, free-thinking, and completely devoted to whatever she took on. It was easy to see that Joyce cherished her family, and she was thrilled beyond measure to become a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. Life was not without times of trial for her, but she faced whatever came her way with grace, courage, and an unwavering faith that carried her through. The sort of person who would do whatever she could for others, there were so many who were blessed because of Joyce’s touch. Dearly loved, she will be forever missed.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and cities, communities, and families came together to do whatever they could to weather the storm. It was also during this time that Ralph and Viola (Whittington) Winchester were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Joyce Marie on August 30, 1931. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during her earliest years, when she was three years old she and her family moved to Shelby, Michigan. Tragedy struck in Joyce’s life when she was just a young girl with the death of her father due to a car accident. Her mother later remarried George Rumbaugh, and their marriage brought two sisters, Darlene “Dolly” and Christine into Joyce’s life. At times she helped care for her younger sister, Christine.
While growing up in Shelby Joyce was a typical young girl of her generation. She was very close with her mother, and she was also very close to their extended family. Joyce always looked forward to time spent at her grandparents’ home and visiting with other relatives as well. She attended Shelby Schools and graduated from Shelby High School. After graduating she spent a short time working in a local doctor’s office.
Not to be forgotten during Joyce’s years in high school was her introduction to the young man who would change the course of her life forever. His name was Floyd Siler, and they soon began dating. They enjoyed things like going to dances and roller skating. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Joyce and Floyd were married on July 1, 1950, in a double ceremony in Shelby with another couple who were good friends of theirs. The newlyweds moved to Flint for a short time for work, and while there they were blessed with the birth of their son, George. They soon moved back to Shelby, and in 1952 they welcomed their daughter, Brenda, into their hearts and home. Both Floyd and Joyce found work at the paper mill in Muskegon, and they bought a house on Clifford Street right across from the mill. Sadly, Floyd died in 1957 from a sudden heart attack, leaving Joyce to raise the children on her own.
Soon after Joyce lost her husband, her mother, stepfather, and little sister moved in with them in Muskegon. Joyce’s family remained there for a couple of years and then got a place of their own a short distance from the house on Clifford. Her family was always very important to Joyce, and although she often worked third shift she did her best to stay active in her children’s lives and activities. Joyce and her family eventually moved to a house on Norton Avenue, which is where Joyce called home for the rest of her life. As a family they enjoyed some vacations in the Upper Peninsula and weekends spent at Lake Michigan. Joyce did date some and actually married two more times, but both marriages ended after a short time. When her daughter, Brenda, gave birth to Joyce’s granddaughters, Shawn and Shannon, Joyce took them in when they needed help and was always there for them. This really isn’t surprising since she was the sort of person who would put her own life on hold just to help others. Joyce was a wonderful housekeeper who was always neat and orderly. She also found such peace in planting flowers in her yard and even enjoyed raking leaves in the fall.
After nearly 40 years working as a lab technician for SD Warren, Joyce retired in 1994. She wintered in Florida for a few years hoping the kids and grandkids would be able to visit. Because her family wasn’t really able to visit, she stopped going to Florida. Joyce became more involved with her church. She had always been very spiritual and a free thinker. She started attending Camp Chesterfield in Indiana, and after five years of study and classes Joyce became an ordained reverend in 1996. Although she never had her own church, she was guest speaker at churches around West Michigan. She also taught classes and even held studies in her Muskegon home. Joyce considered herself a clairvoyant.
Later in life Joyce experienced both peaks and valleys. She remained very close to her family, especially her sister Christine and her family, and she was close with her grandchildren, too. Joyce was understandably a bit shaken with the death of her daughter, Brenda, in 2007, but her faith and family helped her weather the storm. During her retirement years she also took in and rescued numerous dogs, often those that no one else wanted. Eventually the years took their toll on her body, and Joyce had to slow down some. Her mind remained very sharp until the end, and she always had such words of wisdom for her family and friends.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Joyce Siler lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was never one to worry about the little things, rather, Joyce fixed her sights on loving and serving others above all else. A devoted family woman, she treasured the time she spent with her loved ones near. Joyce will be forever missed.
Rev. Joyce Marie Siler, passed away Friday, November 25, 2016. Joyce’s family includes her son, George ( Donna) Siler; grandchildren, Shawn (Steve) Six, Shannon (Stuart) Edwards, George Siler, Robert Siler, Robin Brewer, Eric Brewer; 10 great-grandchildren; several great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Darlene "Dolly" Tillottson, Christine (Bob) Outwin. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Siler in 1957 & daughter, Brenda Glassner in 2007. Services will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2016, 11:00 a.m. at Clock Chapel - Muskegon with Barb Olsen officiating. Interment in Cedar Springs Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Clock Funeral Home - Muskegon.