At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
WMU Foundation - Softball
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Joyce Fooy would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She worked hard and gave everything her all, yet she also made time to enjoy life along the way. Joyce was deeply devoted to her family, and she just might have argued that her greatest gift in life was becoming a grandmother. Resourceful and genuine, she was the sort of person who would do whatever she could for others, even if it was at a great cost to herself. Life will never be the same without Joyce here, but the lives of so many others will be forever changed because of her love.
The 1960s were a colorful time in America. Civil rights often topped the news of the day, and as a nation we were making great strides forward. The young John F. Kennedy became our 35th President of the United States, and by the end of the decade we had put the first man on the moon. Amidst this eventful time was a time of great celebration in the lives of Vincent and Naomi “Honey Girl” Mancini as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Joycelynn “Joyce” on May 15, 1964, on the military base in Buford, North Carolina. Her father was a Marine and sent to Vietnam, so she went to Hawaii to be with her mother’s family as her mother was Hawaiian while her father was Italian. The second of five children, Joyce and her family later moved to 29 Palms and then Paradise Island, California.
Joined in her family by her sister, Bernice, and her brothers, Chris, Alika, and Gabrial, Joyce enjoyed so many of the things that young girls so often do. She was outgoing and liked playing soccer and softball in high school. Later in life Joyce really enjoyed playing volleyball. Wherever they were living, she was a student at local schools. The first few years of high school were spent at Kalamazoo Central High School, but she graduated from Nankuli High School on the island of Oahu in Hawaii in 1982.
Not to be forgotten during her years in school was Joyce’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Richard “Rick” Fooy, and they met while in junior high. Although Joyce was a year older, they began dating and became high school sweethearts. After graduating from high school she returned to Kalamazoo. Joyce and Rick were married on December 30, 1986, at the local justice of the peace, and the newlyweds went to Grand Rapids for their honeymoon.
Joyce spent her entire career at Western Michigan University. She started off in food service, thanks to her sister. A few years later Joyce began working in grounds, and after a few years she became the assistant equipment manager. Finally, she became the equipment coordinator. In everything she did Joyce loved her work, and she was very meticulous and organized when it came to her work as she had no shortage of lists. She traveled all over with the softball and volleyball teams, and they all had such a close bond with one another. Joyce retired in 2015, and just a few months later she learned that her oldest daughter was expecting. She was truly overjoyed, and she was the most amazing grandmother that anyone could ask for. It was easy to see that being a grandmother was Joyce’s new calling. She was even lucky enough to become a full-time babysitter for her daughter, Maile. Joyce was thrilled when her daughter, Makayla, announced she was expecting a baby in the spring. Surely, Joyce was getting ready to snuggle and care for another baby. With an eye for detail, Joyce was also the family party planner and organizer. It wasn’t only her family who loved Joyce, as she was close with all the neighborhood kids. Their place was often the place to be.
Throughout her life Joyce found enjoyment in so many things. She loved cooking, and she never cut corners, either. Everything was made with extra love, and she never skimped on her two favorite ingredients, butter and salt. Among her most frequent dishes were any kind of pasta, and if you arrived to her house on Sunday, you were sure to be fed well as Joyce always outdid herself with a full Sunday Breakfast Spread. Joyce enjoyed taking care of her flowers outside and also mowing the lawn. Mowing the lawn turned into something fun when she took the grandkids around the trails on the mower trailer. For the last several years they went camping at Blue Lake, located North of Ludington. Campfires and bonfires with marshmallows were also a regular happening at their house. For more than 25 years, their place in Paw Paw is where they called home. Joyce liked going to Lake Michigan, especially South Haven, where she loved walking on the pier and spending time on the beach. Joyce also fished at some at local inland lakes. When it came to music, she enjoyed a wide variety including Cher, Pink, Bruno Mars, Tracy Chapman and Hawaiian music.
There was never anything of greater importance to Joyce than her family. They always had dogs, and she was known to bring home strays or to come home with a dog when they were just “going to look.” Their most recent dogs, Jasmine and Luka, were treasured companions. Joyce did everything for her two girls and was always there to encourage and lift them up. She liked doing art projects with her grandkids including making special gifts for holiday parties. She was who prepared for the holidays, and she went over and above for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all birthdays. It was always hard for Joyce to be away from her family in Hawaii, but she always enjoyed the time she had with her local family. She has been called a professional shopper as she knew how to find all the clearance deals at the end of the season so she would be all set for the following year. Although she wasn’t a church goer, Joyce was raised Catholic and had strong family intuition.
Although she was taken from her loved ones much too soon, Joyce Fooy made a significant impact in the lives of countless others. She was so thoughtful and genuine, regularly sending cards to others for all occasions. Joyce was always prepared for anything, and she was someone others knew they could count on no matter what. A loving wife and mother, she was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother. Deeply loved, Joyce will be forever missed.
Joycelynn “Joyce” Fooy, died September 18, 2019 at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. She was preceded in death by her mother, Naomi “Honey Girl” Mancini; sister, Bernice Goff and by in-laws: Charles and Charlene Fooy. Members of her family include her husband of 33 years, Richard “Rick” Fooy; 2 daughters: Maile (Joe) Whipple and Mckayla Fooy; 2 grandchildren: Evelyn and M.J. Whipple and Baby Fooy expected in March; her father: Vincent and Rika Mancini; 3 brothers: Chris (Vicki) Mancini; Alika (Bernadette) Mancini and Gabrial Mancini and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Visit with family and friends on Monday, September 23, 2019 from 5PM – 7PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900, where services will be held Tuesday at 11AM. Burial at Grand Prairie Cemetery followed by a reception at the Paw Paw Eagles. Please visit her personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you can read her story, share a memory and sign her guest book before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to WMU Foundation – Softball.