Reverend Joyce Kochersperger, 94 of Olathe, entered God’s full presence on March 9, 2017.
She was born on May 2, 1922 to Freeman and Adelle O’Neal in Slater, Missouri.
Joyce was united in marriage to Bob Kochersperger on February 14, 1942 . They made their home in Shawnee, Kansas.
Joyce’s most recent calling was as the Pastoral Visitor for Grace United Methodist Church. Prior to this appointment she served as Associate Pastor for Trinity United Methodist Church, Director of Children and Youth Ministries for Lenexa United Methodist Church, and Youth Director for Shawnee United Methodist Church. Much of her adult life was devoted to serving in a number of different capacities of church work, including Sunday School teacher of all ages, leader of Youth ministries, Bible study teacher and mentor, Lab School leader for educational workshops focused on younger children, and Pastoral Director of Older Adult Ministries.
Joyce also was actively involved with her own children (and the many, many “adopted” others) as the leader of the local 4-H club (Greenwood Meadowlarks), and Girl Scout Troop. She proudly became an avid supporter of all they pursued including sporting and musical events.
Joyce was a strong advocate for lifelong learning and encouraged all she met to pursue their educational aspirations. Although she was not able to enter college at the “traditional” age of a youth, she began her college career at age 58, earning a Bachelors Degree in Religious Studies through Kansas University. She continued her education and earned a Masters Degree in Divinity from St. Paul School of Theology. Her crowning accomplishment then came when she was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church, the beginning of a new career at the age of 65. She continued along this path of teaching, preaching and counseling until her death, simply by being who she was.
She was a member of the Rainbow Girls and piano accompanist for vocal ensembles as a youth, as well as an active member in her local church youth group.
Joyce is survived by her four loving children, Bob Jr. (Cindy), Kathy, Wendy, and John (Suzanne), 9 grandchildren (Adam, Bridget, Gabe, Amanda, Patrick, Alex, Adam, Danielle, and Kevin), and 12 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Bob, and brother Jack O’Neal.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, March 14, 2017, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church (11485 South Ridgeview Road, Olathe).
A Celebration of her Life will be on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., also at Grace United Methodist Church.
She will continue to serve the Lord in her new career path, that with angelic responsibilities.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Grace United Methodist Memorial Fund.