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Joy Shirley (DesJardins) Willette

Born: Wed., May 14, 1930
Died: Tue., Feb. 25, 2020


Mass of Christian Burial

Location: St. Joseph's Catholic Church


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Joy Shirley Willette, age 89, went to be with the Lord on February 25, 2020.  Joy was born on May 14, 1930 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to George H. and Helen A. DesJardins. Joy graduated from Loretta Catholic High School in 1948 and went on to earn her RN degree from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Hancock in 1952.  She married Jack P. Willette, and they had five children of whom she was so proud.  Joy had a career of over 30 years in nursing.  She worked for War Memorial Hospital, LSSU Health Services, and finally retired from the State of Michigan Health Screening Services.

Joy enjoyed her family and friends and would start a conversation with anyone she met. She was active up to a couple of weeks before her death and went to exercise three times a week with her son, John.  She loved her wine-time, dancing, shopping, and a good party.  Joy enjoyed cooking, baking and canning.  In her quiet time she sat knitting dishcloths or scarves and watched the Hallmark channel.  She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and attended regularly.  Joy was a generous and kind person, and contributed to her Church and many charities.  Everyone at the Avery Center has her dishcloths as do all her family, friends and everyone she met.  

Joy is survived by five children and their spouses; John and Judy (Sullivan) Willette, Judy Willette, Janet and Tim Chupka, Joyce and Robert Gingras, and Jackie and Stephen Clem.  She had nine grandchildren; Todd Willette and Kevin Green, Megan and Ethan Chupka, Clark, Keith and Cole Gingras, and Dane and Riley Clem, as well as, three great grandchildren, Madi, Avery and Sullivan.  

Joy is also survived by her special sister, Suzanne and her husband Mike Crowley and her sister-in-law Dolores Ewing, along with her many loved extended family members and close friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Helen DesJardins; her sister Bernadette Forrest; her first husband, Jack Willette; and her second husband, Dr. Cecil Baker.

A Mass of Christian Burial is planned at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church In May 2020 with a graveside service at Oaklawn Chapel Gardens, and a Celebration of Joy’s Life in her 90th year at the Sundowner Restaurant.  Clark Bailey Newhouse Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church or Hospice of the EUP.  The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at War Memorial Hospital and especially the ICU and second floor nurses who took such wonderful care of Joy in her last days. Also, a special thank-you to Fr. Sebastian who visited frequently, and brought peace and prayers for Joy’s final journey to our Lord.

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Jim and Mary Barry
   Posted Mon March 02, 2020
We extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Joy. We knew her from the WMH Fitness Center. Joy was aptly named, as that is what she spread among those who knew her. She will be sadly missed, her smile, her courage, her joy. Rest well, dear lady.

Celeste and Tom Spencer
   Posted Tue March 03, 2020
I met Joy at the Fitness Center a few years ago, and was immediately engaged by her smile and friendliness and kind spirit. Seeing her when I walked in made the tedium of exercise less annoying when I could chat with Joy. It also turned out that we had another connection, as she had known my sister-in-law in her nursing career, and somehow that always made me feel like Joy and I were related. What a wonderful lady!
Without a doubt, she will be missed much by everyone whose life she touched.

Danny Sarns
   Posted Thu March 05, 2020
Joy truly was a Joy! I met her though Coed Flowers and looked forward to her visits. She was so cute and amusing. My heart goes out to her family. With love and sympathy Danny Sarns

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