Mildred “Joyce” (Wood) Stauffer - Bussema was welcomed to heaven at the age of 93 in Denver, Colorado, May 22, 2022, during a short visit for a celebration. She leaves behind her husband of 21 years, David Bussema. She will be greatly missed by her children Toni (Dale) Hecksel, J. Larry (Paola) Stauffer, Kim (Barb) Stauffer, Kelley Nieberlein (née Stauffer), her step children Linda (Bryan) Porritt, Julie (Ted) Coon, and Joyce (Wayne) Morford. She is loved by her grandchildren Bradley (Andrea) Hecksel, Karlyn (Aaron) Balfour, Lynnette (Chad) Boehm, Jessica (David) Mowry, James (Myka) Stauffer, Robert Stauffer, and Jennifer Nieberlein, her step grandchildren, Josh (Aimee) Porritt, Aaron Porritt, Max (Amy) Coon, Amy Coon, Riley Morford, and Hannah Morford, her great-grandchildren Avery, Lauren, Samuel, Madalynn, Logan, Dominik, Kinsley, Colson, Keira, Robin, Jacob, Everett, Kova, Jaka, Radley, Onyx, and Maxwell, and her step-grandchildren, Dade, Kyle, Liam, and David. She will be greatly missed by her sister Betty (Wood) Maxwell.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, James Stauffer, her parents, Myron and Jennie (Bollinger), her brothers, Mylon, James, George, Rex, Donald, Lewis, Art and sister Velita (Wood) St Peter.
Joyce was born on May 12, 1929 on the family farm near Vestaburg, Michigan to Myron and Jennie Wood. Joyce spoke of her time on the family farm and how life was then, the blessings and hardships. They had their hard times but it made them stronger. She spoke fondly about her father telling both her and her sister to stay at school until he could come with sled to bring them home in the winter snow. The family moved into Vestaburg where she continued her schooling and played on the school’s women’s basketball team and, as it turned out, her coach was her future sister-in-law.
Joyce met and dated James Stauffer. They eloped and were married on April 11, 1952. They moved many times throughout the course of their marriage. Joyce and her husband helped run the family restaurant, “The Shack”, with James’ family at Rock Lake. They finally settled in for good in Kentwood, Michigan in 1962. In 1970 she began working as the librarian at Bowen Elementary School where she was loved by all students and staff. After the school day was done, she taught knitting and crocheting to students. She retired after 26 years and she loved every minute of it. She was an excellent seamstress as she made her daughters outfits for holidays and special events. She was always there to help others in any way she could. There were overnights, making Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses, and trips to Florida.
She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and those she has touched during her time here on earth.
In honoring Joyce’s wishes, no formal funeral ceremony will be held and a private committal service will be held at a later time.