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Joyce C. Thomas, 77, State Center

Joyce C. Thomas, age 77, of State Center, passed away early Saturday morning, November 18th, at the Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames.

Per her wishes, no formal services will be held. Memorials may be directed to her family for later distribution to the Rhodes United Methodist Church. For condolences, please visit The Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Joyce and her family. 641-844-1234.

Born Joyce Jackson on April 15th, 1946, in State Center, she was the daughter of Kenneth and Mariam “Babe” (Campbell) Jackson. She graduated from the State Center High School in 1964 and soon began a remarkable and incredible journey of education- first at Simpson College in Indianola majoring in French with a minor in music. During her junior year, she studied in Paris. Through a simple phone call, she was able to walk her son and his wife Marcy through her memory on their visit to Paris to the sites she lived and loved. She furthered her knowledge with a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

In 1970, she accepted a teacher’s position in Freeburg, IL. as instructor for French, Chorus, Music Appreciation, Yearbook and Cheerleading Sponsor. During this time, she met a young man by the name of Gale Thomas and the two were united in marriage on August 31st, 1974, in Freeburg. This was a year after she and her friend were able to return to Europe for travels all over the countries she loved. She made it clear to Gale, she expected indoor laundry and a refrigerator!

She and Gale were blessed with the birth of their only child, Kent, in 1976. In 1984, the family moved back to her hometown to the farmland established by her paternal great-grandfather (currently a sixth generation farm). She dearly loved the land and the cows raised on it and had no hesitation of driving her Lincoln out in the fields, often marked by cornhusks and dust. Joyce was giving of herself as a member of the Rhodes United Methodist Church, the FSA Board, State Center Township trustee, Rhodes UMC Board, PEO, and the Marshall County Extension. She farmed beside her family and also taught piano lessons and played for countless funerals and events at the church.

Joyce enjoyed her time with family and friends and will be fondly remembered for her harvest meal in the fall. Her trips to the fields for workers with arms full of baskets of food made it hard to complete an afternoon’s work without a nap. In quiet time, she enjoyed cross stich, flowers and birds.

Left to cherish her memory are her son- Kent (Marcy), her grandchildren Brayden and Campbell; a foster-granddaughter Rachael Pfantz and her children- Keilee, Kinlee and Kason; her faithful companion Lady the 14 year old Lab; her sister Betty Ferrell and nieces Yvonne and Michelle as well as many other family and friends.

In death, Joyce rejoined her beloved husband Gale, and her parents.

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