Winsome “Joyce” (Ballantyne) Stevenson, daughter of Harold “Clay” and Lucille (Barnett) Ballantyne, was born January 26, 1936, near Lamoni, Iowa, and passed away at her home in Amarillo, Texas on March 4, 2022, at the age of 86 years.
Joyce lived most of her life in the Lamoni area. In 2021, she moved to Amarillo where she lived with and was cared for by her husband Lester, daughter Beth, and son-in-law Larry Heltenberg.
Joyce earned a high school diploma from Lamoni Public Schools and an Associate’s Degree from Graceland College. As a youth, Joyce participated and competed in 4-H Club activities, winning several blue and red ribbons. Her most impressive 4-H competitive event was wallpapering, winning a master wallpaperer award. Joyce’s photograph, as a toddler, was entered in Life Magazine’s celebrity look-alike contest. Her mother submitted the photo and it won for looking most like Canada’s Dionne Quintuplets. The photo was published in Life’s January 17, 1938 issue. A Bulova watch, which she always cherished, was awarded to her.
At the age of 8, Joyce was baptized and became a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (RLDS), now called Community of Christ (CofC). Joyce often reflected on her baptism. Being baptized by her grandfather, Robert A. Ballantyne was an important part of the experience for her. Joyce married Lester Stevenson on December 15, 1957, and they were married for 64 years. In addition to being a devoted wife, Joyce was mother to four children, grandmother to seven, and great-grandmother to nine. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought her much joy. Throughout her life, Joyce was an active and dedicated member of her church. Joyce served in the Bloomington, Pleasanton, and Lamoni congregations. For years she was the historian for both her congregation and the former Lamoni Stake. During her time of service, she received a letter of merit from the World Church Historian recognizing her reports as being some of the most detailed and comprehensive ever received. In addition to her personal service, she provided valuable and unceasing support to Lester in his numerous church and civic leadership roles.
Joyce worked diligently to help support her family and contribute to her community. During her life Joyce worked for several businesses in the Lamoni area. These places of work include her parent’s farm, Packing Plant, Dairy Cup, Graceland’s Food Service, RLDS Stake Office, her mother’s cake business, the house-rental business she and Lester owned, and her daycare business. Joyce managed the house-rental business office work for 44 years. Perhaps Joyce’s most important work involved almost 20 years of daycare for children in her home. Not only did this afford her the opportunity to be a steadfast homemaker and loving mother for her own children and grandchildren, but it also gave her an opportunity to provide love and support for dozens of other children. Joyce spent many hours, some late into the night, helping her children and a few of her grandchildren with their schoolwork. Before the time of computers and word processing, her proofreading and typing skills were invaluable and very much appreciated.
Joyce had a strong interest in family genealogy and family reunions. She used her meticulous record-keeping skills and expertise to research and document, with considerable detail, information pertaining to family genealogy. She enjoyed sharing the information she had compiled. For years Joyce accepted the job of “permanent secretary” for Stevenson Family Reunions.
Preceding Joyce in death were parents, Harold Clay and Lucille (Barnett) Ballantyne; brother, Harry Clay and wife Betty Jane (Cole) Ballantyne.
Joyce is survived by husband, Lester Stevenson, of the home; children, Larry Stevenson and wife, Leslie of Lakeland, Florida, Mary Blunt and husband, Ed of Springfield, Missouri, David Stevenson and wife, Julie, of Richmond, Missouri, and Elizabeth Heltenberg and husband, Larry, of the home in Amarillo, Texas; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Brandon Stevenson and wife Erin, child Evelyn, of Liberty, Missouri; Chelsea Reynolds and husband, Zach, children, Jaxon and Reese, of Springfield, Missouri, Jordan Blunt and wife, Lacee, children Finnlee, Melrose, and Ophelia, of Springfield, Missouri, Justin Stevenson, and wife Amber, children, Ava Lyn and Garrett, of Silt, Colorado, Quentin Stevenson of, Kansas City, Missouri, Caleb Heltenberg and wife, Cheyenne, child Emersyn, of Amarillo, Texas, Sariah Heltenberg, of Lawrence, Kansas, and many extended family members and friends.
One of Joyce’s favorite scripture verses was John 14:2: “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Joyce lived her life in service to the Lord and to others near and dear to her. Her earthly presence will be missed, but memories of her goodness will live on.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Graceland University, in Lamoni, Iowa.
A memorial service for Joyce is planned for 10:00 a.m. on July 9, 2022 at Lamoni Community of Christ with Roy Shields and Lorrie Long presiding. The final resting place for Joyce’s ashes will be in Lamoni’s Rose Hill Cemetery.