(Marilyn) Joyce Weber, 96, passed away in Grand Rapids, MI on July 20, 2019. She was formerly from Bark River, MI and Griffith, IN.
Joyce was a gentle soul who loved to watch birds and plant flowers. Her garden was her church.
She was born Marilyn Joyce Robertson on December 28, 1922 in Hancock, MI. Her parents were Lempki (Eleanore) Rebacki and Henry Stuart (Gus) Robertson. Joyce had a difficult childhood like so many from that era. Her father ran a bootlegging business and was mostly absent. Her mother worked full time and left young Joyce alone, even in the evenings. Eleanore developed tuberculosis and had to be hospitalized many times. Joyce was sent to live with friends, and various reluctant relatives.
Eventually, Eleanore and Stuart divorced. When Joyce was 10, her mother married (George) Harry Turner. They moved to Green Bay, WI and welcomed a son, Harry Jr. For the first time, Joyce enjoyed a real, happy, family life. Her step father adopted her and she changed her last name to Turner. When the Great Depression hit, Harry lost his job and the family lived in poverty. Joyce had vivid memories of this time. Eleanor’s tuberculosis came back and Harry Jr. was sent to permanently live with his aunt in Illinois. Joyce was forced to return to Hancock to live with relatives.
When Eleanore left the hospital for the last time, doctors suggested that she and Harry separate. It was a strange time in medical history. Through the difficulties Joyce enjoyed her senior year in high school. After graduation, Joyce got a job as a telephone operator and was working the boards the night of the Pearl Harbor Attacks.
Eleanor passed away. Joyce discovered that a student from Michigan Tech University had been watching her from afar. He was Anthony P. Weber, a Metallurgical Engineering student from Chicago who was enrolled in the Army’s ROTC program. The couple met, fell in love, and were married within a 2 week period. Tony (Anthony) was sent overseas. When he returned 1 ½ years later, he met his son, Anthony Jr.
Tony’s career was with U.S. Steel. The couple lived in Chicago, Hobart, IN, Fairless Hills, PA, and Griffith, IN. When Tony retired, they built a home in Bark River, MI near Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula. They loved their home on Lake Michigan, the quiet natural surroundings, and even the snow!
Joyce was a homemaker and enjoyed laughing and spontaneous singing and dancing with her husband and children.She baked all kinds of goodies including her delicious homemade fudge. She hated vegetables and ate donuts for breakfast. Her favorite meal was a TV dinner. She took a painting class at Purdue when she was 50 and left us with many beautiful paintings, mostly scenes of nature. She had a green thumb and grew lovely flowers and tall weeds. She was delighted when a bird or butterfly would come to visit her. She was devoted to her dog, Pumpkin and cherished all of her other Dachshunds who used to call her lap their home.
She leaves behind two daughters, Kerry L. Oldewurtel (Keith), Ada, MI, and Lynn E. Pruitt (Dale), Valparaiso, IN, sister-in-law Joanne Turner, many loving grandchildren, Jessica Parks (Rob), Thomas Pruitt Jr., Kate Shukis (Caleb) and Jackson Oldewurtel (Erica ); great grandchildren, Clinton Wight (Cheyenne), Anthony Wight, Rachel Wight (Jacqueline),Lizzy and Belle Chandler, and Robbie Parks; and 2 great, great grandchildren, Kye and Parker Wight. She was preceded in death by her husband, Anthony P. Weber and son, Anthony P. Weber Jr., brother Harry Turner and granddaughter, Elizabeth Wight.
Joyce’s family would like to thank the staff at Clark at Keller Lake, Oxford West in Grand Rapids for their wonderful care, love and support of Joyce during her journey through Dementia. Joyce enjoyed laughing with everyone and appreciated their kind efforts to make her feel like she was part of their family. Also thank you to Emmanuel Hospice in Grand Rapids who took care of mom’s needs and made her comfortable at a difficult time.
Condolences or stories of Joyce may be made to: www.skradskifuneralhomes.com.
There will be a private family service for Joyce in Bark River on August 3. Memorials may be made to Delta County Animal Shelter, 6975 County Road, 426 M 5, Escanaba, MI, 49829; Clark Foundation, 1551 Franklin St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506, or Emmanuel Hospice, 401 Hall St SW, Suite 263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
When you hear a bird sing, think of Joyce.