OBITUARY: Joycelyn Marie Cooley (Dyck, Hershberger)

Joycelyn Marie Cooley (Dyck, Hershberger) passed away peacefully with courage, faith and love on February 6, 2024, in her apartment in Spokane Valley, Washington, surrounded by her loving family.

She is survived by her three sons, Shane Koppenhaver (Nicole), Kelsey Koppenhaver (Fiona) and Alex Cooley (Tiffanie); her eight grandsons, Ryan, Jesse, Calvin, Ezykeil, Sean, Alyjah, Nyckolas and Jozyah; older brother Gary Dyck; and younger sister Julia Roupp. She was preceded in death by her parents and younger brother, Tom.

Born on March 2, 1949, in Hutchinson to Harold and Elva Mae (Hershberger) Dyck, Joycelyn was the second of four children. She grew up in the small, tightknit community of Hesston, raised as a Mennonite. She did well in school and was popular at Hesston High.

Joycelyn lived a full, rich life filled with many experiences, including studying theology and earning her master’s degree in social work from The University of Kansas in Lawrence.  Throughout her adult life, in addition to Kansas, she lived in Colorado, Oregon, California and Washington—all places she loved for different reasons. But walking barefoot in the sand along the ocean seemed to be where she felt most content.

In life, Joycelyn was most interested in “what’s real and what’s true.” She was a feminist, an activist and an environmentalist long before those things were fashionable. She loved animals and had a particular affinity for elephants—noting their intelligence, ability to feel and unique self-awareness. She was passionate about organic, farm-fresh food, raised and grown naturally.

Later in life, Joycelyn’s greatest joy was spending time with her eight grandsons. Nary a granddaughter in site (which she thought was hilarious), she was a fun, patient and always present-in-the-moment grandmother—reading, walking and talking for hours—acknowledging each of the boys for the unique and precious individuals that they are.

Rest in peace, Mom/Grandma. You will be so dearly missed.

 

 

 

 

 

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