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Joyce A. (Hart) Athen

April 8, 1934 ~ May 11, 2019 (age 85)

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Joyce Arlene (Hart) Athen, 85, of Shenandoah and formerly of Northboro, passed away Saturday evening, May 11, 2019 at the Shenandoah Medical Center. 

A celebration of life funeral service for Joyce will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:30 AM at the Northboro United Methodist Church with Rev. Rick Sleyster officiating.  The family will greet relatives and friends with visitation and viewing from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Nishna Valley Funeral Home in Shenandoah.  Memorials in Joyce's name may be directed to the Northboro Betterment Committee.  Burial will take place in the Union Grove Cemetery at Northboro.

Joyce Arlene (Hart) Athen was born on April 8, 1934, in a little farmhouse outside of Northboro, Iowa to Raymond and Edythe (Bayless) Hart.  It was on the farm that she spent her childhood along with her brother, Duane.

Joyce attended the Northboro School, where she played basketball, graduating with the Class of 1952.  She was the only girl in a class of seven boys.

After graduation, Joyce married Roland Athen of Riverton, Iowa and this union five children were born, Larry, Michael, Sandra, Jimmy and Susan.  When the marriage            ended Joyce became both mother and father to her young children.  Her greatest accomplishment in her life was her children.

Joyce began working for the United States Post Office in 1976, retiring in 1997.

A woman of many talents, she sewed many beautiful items, painted picture, did tole painting, china painting, made china dolls and decorated wedding cakes.   But her most precious things to do were attending her kids, grandkids and great grandkids’ activities. She was always there to support them and could be found on the bleachers cheering them on.  There were many times she had several grandkids’ activities to attend in one week.

Preceding Joyce in death were her parents, Raymond and Edythe Hart; grandson, Alan Kirchert; and her beloved cat,” Boots”. 

Joyce will be deeply missed by her children, Larry (Pat Kirchert), Mike (Pam Parker), Sandra Apperson (Rick Apperson), Jim (Debbie Pappas) and Susan Opal; grandchildren, Darin Athen (Rhonda Webster), Carla Erickson (Matt), Alan Kirchert (in memoriam) (Michelle Shilhanek), Danny Apperson and fiancée Amanda Jordan, Courtney Apperson, Sierra Athen, Jacob Athen, Nicholas Opal, Hilary Parker, Jay Parker (Jen Heath); great grandchildren, Blake Berndt (Lucas), Devon McBride, Maddy McBride, Dalton Athen, Peyton Athen, Jade Smith, Kody Erickson, Aubrey Erickson, Miah Hummel, Mazzy Hummel, Sam Hummel, Emma Hummel, Kendall Parker, Ally Parker and Breanne Parker; two great-great grandchildren, Drake Berndt and Amelia Berndt; brother and sister-in-law, Duane and Marj Hart;  nephews and niece, Kelly and Donnatta Hart, Jeff Hart and Jodi Geditz, David and Susan Hart, Mike and Megan Stairs; and many cousins, other relatives and friends.   


To send flowers to Joyce's family, please visit our floral section.


May 16, 2019

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Service
405 W Thomas Avenue
Shenandoah, IA 51601

Funeral Service
May 17, 2019

10:30 AM
Northboro United Methodist Church
207 S 1st St
Northboro, IA 51647

May 17, 2019

11:30 AM
Union Grove Cemetery
1365 310th St.
Northboro, IA 51647


Northboro Betterment Committee
Northboro IA 51647

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