Joyce Muilenburg ’40 Booher

Joyce died peacefully on Friday, September 16, 2022 at the Markesan Resident Home, Markesan, WI at the age of 99. She was born May 7, l923 in the family’s farm home in Maurice, IA. She graduated from Maurice, Iowa High School, Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago, IL and received a B.A. degree from Hope College, Holland, MI (cum laude). After living in Elba, NY for 40 years, in 1995 she moved to The Manor House in Batavia, NY. Since 2013 she lived with her daughter and son-in-law in Illinois then Wisconsin.

Her four grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands to escape religious persecution. In the United States they were free to believe in their strong Dutch Reformed faith. When she visited Amsterdam, the present liberal atmosphere of Amsterdam perplexed her, and she was glad to find that Holland, in general, is not happy with Amsterdam.

Life, for her, was always full of something more to be learned, read, or done. Faith and humor instilled by her parents were her strong life supports. She enjoyed gardening, knitting, bowling, reading, birding, writing, crafts, teaching Sunday School, and singing in choirs. Whenever possible, she traveled. At various times she had memberships in Home Bureau, Elba Elegants, Art Club, Bloom Class, 20-30 Club, Books and Topics, and was on the Advisory Board of the Batavia, NY Office for the Aging. Her most recent challenge was to become “computer literate”.

Nursing, to her, meant a wide variety of choices. Hers included being a college clinic nurse, a “girl Friday” for two doctors in the small Orange City, Iowa hospital, a floor nurse on the post-surgical tuberculosis ward in Ann Arbor, MI, a nighttime floor nurse at Genesee Memorial (now UMMC), and the Batavia, NY VA. She enjoyed patient care, declining offers to climb the administrative ladder. Her first love, always, was being a mother and homemaker.

Preceding her in death were her grandparents, her parents (Harry and Anna DeJong Muilenburg), two husbands (Alfred W. Bender, Jr. and Claire L. Booher), brother Wallace Muilenburg, sister Lois DeJong, stepdaughter Lynda Booher Porter and grandson Henry Bender. Surviving siblings are Ladene Altena, Centerton, AR, Harriet (Roger) Harmelink, Newton, IA, and sister-in-law Henrietta Muilenburg, Orange City, IA.

Her children are Paul (Jody) Bender, Marion, NY, Dan (Wanda) Bender, West Hartford, CT, Laurie (Dan) Tricarico, Green Lake, WI, Charles (Bonnie) Bender, Freedom, PA, Ray (Mary-Lynn) Bender, Pittsford, NY, and Bob (Sarah) Booher, Rochester, NY. Survivors include their six spouses, twenty grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and many nieces and nephews.

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