Obituary: Joyce Van Aelst, 93, of Walkerville.

March 5, 2021

Joyce VanAelst

Obituary: Joyce Van Aelst, 93, of Walkerville.

Joyce A. (Gardner) Van Aelst, passed away March 3, 2021, at the age of 93, after many years of fighting Alzheimer’s disease.  Joyce was born and raised in Walkerville on February 26, 1928, to Dr. Murlin Gardner, DDS and Louise (Schmidt) Gardner. 

Joyce graduated from Walkerville Public Schools in 1946. She attended one year at Alma College before marrying the love of her life, Lloyd Van Aelst, at the Gardner family cottage on July 20, 1948.  In the 72 years they were together, they raised four children and were truly partners in everything that they did. Joyce was a housewife who not only took care of the house and kids but did the barber laundry for Lloyd’s Barber Shop (the family’s bread and butter), helped with her parents, Lloyd’s parents and anywhere that she was needed. Besides making family meals, she baked many wonderful pies, cakes and cookies (Dad had a sweet tooth), sewed many outfits for her daughters and loved working the daily crossword puzzles in the Detroit Free Press. Her children will miss her motherly love, encouragement and wisdom.  

Joyce was a member of the Oceana Hospital Auxiliary and held many Christmas parties for them at her home. She was also an American Legion Auxiliary member and bowled on a weekly bowling team. She was in charge, for many years, of the Commercial Exhibit Building at the Oceana County Fair.  Besides being a housewife, she worked selling license plates (long before there were SOS offices), worked on many election boards, was on the board of review for a year, and worked part time at the Hart True Value Hardware (earning money for Christmas presents and vacations.)

Joyce is survived by her children, Susan (Amede DeCruydt) Van Aelst of Maple City; Scott Van Aelst of Lake Ann, and Janis Van Aelst of Hart; son-in-law, Steven (Tonya) Eisele of Lexington, SC; grandchildren, Ryan Eisele, Breanne (Max) Booth, Alexis DeCruydt, Zach DeCruydt, Joe Pabuda, Sarah Pabuda, and Jordon Van Aelst; great-grandchildren, Jasper Eisele, Mason Pabuda, Presley Booth, and Landon Booth; sister-in-law, Betty (Al Van Aelst) Seaton; and many nieces and nephews.

Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd; her parents; sisters, Muriel (Lawrence) Miller and Barbara (Leo) Kraus; brother, Frank (Chris) Gardner; 2 baby brothers; and her daughter, Linda (Steven) Eisele.  

There will be a graveside service for the family, at Hart Cemetery, on a future date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate to the Crystal Valley Care Fund at or PO Box 451, Hart, MI 49420.  

Beacon Cremation & Funeral Service, King-Hart Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.

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