Joyce E. Nantz transitioned to eternal life with her Heavenly Father Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at Londonderry Village in Palmyra, PA where she had received compassionate care for several years.
Joyce was born August 11, 1937 in Anderson, Indiana to Maurice and Geneva (Slade) Davis. She was a graduate of Hamilton High School class of 1956. In her early years, Joyce worked at Robinson Schwenn department store in the Men's clothing department, was a Cincinnati Bell telephone teller and church Vacation Bible School (VBS) helper. She married John R. Nantz in June of 1957. Shortly after, they both entered Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), serving at Westminster, MD and Falfurrias, TX, making lifelong connections while serving the Lord. She was a loving preacher’s wife at New Windsor, MD and dedicated mother of Joy Reardon and John M. Nantz. Joyce moved to Harrisburg, PA in the late 1960s answering the call of urban ministry with her husband.
Joyce demonstrated unconditional love to others all her life. She was a member of Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren participating in club programs, tutoring, prison ministry and was a substitute bowler in the church league and was known as the "Gutter Kid". She welcomed all to her community and church such as local Laotian refugees and others new to our area or her faith. She became fondly known as "Mama Joyce," by the Jr. and Sr. High youth she loved so much and who she traveled with cross country in a bus during several National Youth Conference trips. Joyce volunteered at Camp Swatara as the arts & crafts and nature counselor, was a CROP walk supporter, Sunshine Group & Bipolar Support Group member and Three Mile Island (TMI) Alert advocate after her experiences helping evacuees during the TMI accident of 1979. She worked relief for a friend at UTZ at the Kline Village Farmers Market and was an Aquatics Instructor at Slim Time Spas, Hotel Sheraton and Friendship Center. She loved the water, sunbathing, crafts, collecting shells and stones from wherever she traveled, camping with family and giving big loving hugs when welcoming others.
Joyce welcomed Mary (Risko) into the family marrying son, John and loved being a grandmother to John Luke and Jacob Michael. All were blessed that Grandma Joyce was able to care for them for several years prior to their entering school.
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents Maurice and Geneva, grandson John Luke, sister Norma Stivers and brother Fred Davis.
She has positively impacted many. Joyce will be missed by her loving family, her church family and friends.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 AM Saturday, February 22, 2020 at her church, 219 Hummel Street, Harrisburg, preceded by a visitation from 10:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Living Witness Fund, c/o Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren, 219 Hummel Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104.
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