Koops Funeral Chapel


Joyce M Steele

August 2, 1934February 19, 2021

Joyce M. Steele, 86, of rural Lake Odessa passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home on February 19, 2021. She was born on August 2, 1934 in Charlotte, MI to Kenneth and Clara (Willis) Ransom. Joyce attended Myers Country School, Charlotte High School and then County Normal School. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in education. Joyce taught at several Country Schools in the area and at Lakewood Schools for 36 years. She married Kendall R. Steele of Lake Odessa on December 26, 1954 at the West Benton Church in Charlotte. They were married 64 years before he preceded her in death in 2019. Joyce was foremost a teacher; both professionally and personally. She became an avid golfer, a hobby she and Kendall shared in retirement. Joyce took her first swing at a softball and retired at the age of 80 after playing for 20 years. She will be dearly missed by her family: sons Kenneth (Brenda) Steele and James (Yvonne Morris) Steele both of Lake Odessa, daughter Jean (Robin Thomsen) of Rockford, grandsons Ryan (Claire) Steele of Howell and Jeremy (Eric Chatfield) Steele of Lansing, great grandchildren Leah and Matthew, siblings John (Leona) Ransom of Stockbridge, Janet (Jeff) Rowe of Madisonville, TN and Mick (Nancy) Ransom of Holt, along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, husband Kendall and sister Darlene Ransom. Visitation will be held on February 23, 2021 from 5pm until 8pm at the Central United Methodist Church. Funeral services will be held February 24, 2021 at 11am at the Central United Methodist Church. Burial will take place at Fuller Cemetery immediately following. Memorials are suggested to Manna’s Market Boots and Coats for Kids or if you are making a contribution to “Stories From America’s Landscape”, thank you. If donating online, go to under “Stories From America’s Landscape”. If donating by check, please make the check to Libby Kinsey. Write “Joyce Steele Memorial” on the memo line. Mail checks to: Libby & Jim Kinsey 470 Eagle Pt. Rd. Lake Odessa, MI 48849 Again, thank you so much for helping us create a kinder, gentler world for children through stories. Joyce loved sharing stories with the youngest Vikes, and she was much beloved by students as well as by her colleagues. -Libby Kinsey


  • Visitation

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021


Joyce M Steele

have a memory or condolence to add?

Shirley Decker

February 24, 2021

Wayne and I sure enjoyed playing golf with Kendall and Joyce first at Tyler Creek, then at Morrison Lake, then we all switched to Riverbend. Joyce and I used to play 27 holes of golf while the men played in foursomes and played 18 holes. We have many good memories on and off golf course with the Steeles

Tom and Terri Geiger

February 24, 2021

We were so sorry to hear of Joyce’s passing. Joyce was a great kindergarten teacher to both Tom and I. I was blessed to see Joyce in the last few years. She knew exactly who I was even though I hadn’t seen her for over 40 years. Enjoyed my time catching up with her. Sending hugs and condolences to her family.

Carolyn Count

February 23, 2021

I worked for Joyce at school as her aide for many years. She loved her kids and enjoyed them. She was fun to work with. Always smiling, very friendly, a good friend. Many good memories of our time together


February 22, 2021

So sorry to hear about your mom's passing. She was a wonderful lady and a great teacher! May God give you peace and comfort during this time.

Katie Barnhart

February 22, 2021

Best Kindergarten teacher ever! I spent many mornings in her room and often would stay for the afternoon class with my cousin. She would always challenge me. Prayers for her family.

Jeannine Service

February 22, 2021

Joyce was a wonderful friend. When a kindergarten position opened up in Lake Odessa, she talked me into taking it. She said she would be my helper and she was even though my classroom was in the Methodist Church. I couldn’t have done this without her . When I moved into the portable classroom, we had a few races to see who could get to school first! She usually won. I am sorry that health issues will keep me from attending her services.

Lisa Jackson-Nurenberg

February 22, 2021

Mrs. Steele was my kindergarten teacher and I remember her well. She was kind, sweet but stern. She taught me my letters and also how to love my classmates. She is one reason that I became a teacher and on several occasions, a kindergarten teacher. She was a true gem. God bless you all and know that she was loved appreciated greatly. ❤️ Prayers of comfort for all that loved her.

Samantha Hough

February 22, 2021

She was mine and my dad's teacher. We actually ran into her at a rest stop on our way home from Florida and she even remembered me at that time I had my first child. She was a great teacher, she is one of those teachers you never forget.

Bill Eckstrom

February 21, 2021

Jewel and I were sorry to hear of Joyce's death. She was an excellent teacher and a fine person and I enjoyed working with her at Lakewood Public Schools.

Terri Slade

February 21, 2021

Joyce was my first son’s kindergarten teacher. She was so good! She was always approachable & listened to me whenever I had a question or concern. Then I began to work at West El, right across the hall, and we became friends. How lucky was I?! I never saw her lose her patience with a child. I have such fond memories of Joyce. I am saddened by your loss.