Joyce Lathrop, 85, gained her heavenly wings on Sunday, October 15, 2023, after losing a lengthy battle with vascular dementia. She died peacefully in Texas with her family surrounding her. A Celebration of Life service will be held on November 20, 2023, at McDonalds Funeral Home in Rock Falls, Illinois at 12:00 pm, with visitation prior to the service from 10:00 am until service time. Interment will follow the service.
She was born September 27, 1938 in Tampico, IL to Merle and Evelyn (Wescott) Lathrop and grew up in Sterling, IL. Joyce married Jim Edeus in 1958 and Ed Handel in 1969.
Joyce was instrumental in organizing the first televised MDA telethon in Rockford, IL in 1978. She helped organize the City of Rockford 3-day Fourth of July festivities for 2 years.
She was a voting judge for many years in Sterling. Joyce campaigned for many Democratic candidates from the local to the national level. She also belonged to the Royal Order of the Moose.
Joyce called many places home in Illinois, Tennessee, Florida, Nevada and Texas. In her later years, Joyce had found her calling and worked hard to earn her CNA license and worked as a physical assistant. She retired from Walmart after working in life insurance sales and several retail managerial positions.
She was a loving, feisty, strong-willed, people person that was passionate about life, her family, friends and beloved pets, Laci and Kit Kat. Joyce will be greatly missed.
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents; 2 brothers; 3 sisters; and several nieces and nephews.
She is survived by her children, Jane (Edeus) and Jim Mara of Levelland, TX, Jim Edeus and Kim (Mohnkern) of Cranberry, PA, Ed Handel and Jolie (Killion) of Elgin IL and Tim Handel and Trina (Riess) of Johnstown, CO; sister, Lucille Lathrop of Rock Falls, IL; grandchildren, Julianne Mara, Jennifer Mara, Aaron Edeus, Jaime Edeus, Britnie (Handel) Sheridan and Nicholas, Ashlyn (Handel) Davison and Nick, Courtney Handel, KC Handel, Katie (Handel) Alvarez and Anthony; great grandchildren, Brantlee Sheridan, Raylind Sheridan, Addelyn Davison, Lillian Davison, Rayleigh Alvarez and Ezra Alvarez; beloved pets, Laci and Kit Kat; and many nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are under the direction of the professionals at Krestridge Funeral Home. (806) 897-1111