Joyce Lucile (Van Buren) Thomas

May 2, 1929 ~ August 22, 2022 (age 93)


Celebration of Life for Joyce L. Thomas, age 93, of Newman Grove, will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, August 27, 2022 at the Home for Funerals Chapel, 708 Georgia Avenue, in Norfolk.  Reverend Tim DeFor will be officiating.  The service will be live-streamed on the funeral home website.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.  Home for Funerals is in charge of the arrangements.

She died Monday, August 22, 2022 at her home in Newman Grove.

Joyce Lucile was born May 2, 1929 on her grandfather’s farm near Belle Plaine, Kansas.  She was the second of five children born to Vern Lee and Loretta (Spencer) Van Buren.

She attended school in Pawnee City, Nebraska and Glenwood and Spencer, Iowa, graduating valedictorian from Spencer High School in 1947.  Joyce attended Jennie Edmundson School of Nursing in Council Bluffs, Iowa for a year.

On July 23, 1948 she married Robert Arlo Beckman in Council Bluffs.  From this union, four children were born: Paul Albert, Clyde Frederick, Judy Ann, and Thomas Vern.

Joyce was employed in the medical and special education fields while her children were growing up.

After the death of her husband in 1983, Joyce returned to school, and received her Associate Degree in Nursing at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs in 1985, again as valedictorian. 

She worked in Omaha, Nebraska and Spencer, Iowa as a registered psychiatric nurse.  After her retirement at age 67, she moved to Guide Rock, Nebraska where she worked part-time in the Red Cloud Library.

When she was 70 years old, Joyce went on short-term mission trips to the Orient, teaching English and Bible in Macau, Japan, Taiwan, and India.

At the age of 78, she married William Clark Thomas on July 4, 2007 in Johnston, Ohio.  The couple had met on the E-Harmony dating site.  The couple made their home in Superior, Wisconsin and briefly in Caliente, California.  After William’s death, Joyce moved back to Nebraska where she settled in Norfolk, then Newman Grove.

Joyce enjoyed camping and hiking with her grandchildren, creative writing for magazines, knitting and crocheting, reading, and vegetable gardening.

She is survived by her sons, Paul (Glennin) of Estherville, Iowa, Clyde (Susan) of Newman Grove, and Thomas (Patricia) of Meadow Grove; daughter Judy Stack of Caliente, California; stepdaughter Carol (William) Minor of Superior, Wisconsin; 12 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren,4 great-great grandchildren; nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Robert and William; brothers James, Max, and Paul; sister Carol; and stepdaughters Mary Ann and Lynn.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


August 27, 2022

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Home for Funerals Chapel
708 Georgia Avenue
Norfolk, NE 68701

Celebration of Life
August 27, 2022

10:30 AM
Home for Funerals Chapel
708 Georgia Avenue
Norfolk, NE 68701

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