Cover photo for Joyce A. Schotanus's Obituary
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1932 Joyce 2024

Joyce A. Schotanus

April 20, 1932 — April 1, 2024

Leominster

LEOMINSTER -- Joyce A. Schotanus, 91, entered her eternal home on Monday, April 1, 2024. Joyce, the daughter of Ann and Gilbert Norman, was born in Fitchburg, MA on April 20, 1932. Following Ann’s death in 1939, Gilbert married Helen Barber. Joyce frequently expressed gratitude for Helen’s influence on her life. In 1950, Joyce graduated from Fitchburg High School in Fitchburg, MA, and attended hairdressing school in Worcester, MA. On April 4, 1953, she married Raymond Schotanus at the First Baptist Church in Fitchburg.

In 1945, Joyce contracted a serious medical condition and she faced the loss of both of her legs. This difficult situation and the healing of her legs prompted her to put her faith in Jesus Christ as her only hope and Savior. In 1956, she and Ray began to attend Highland Baptist Church in Fitchburg. Over the years, she was actively involved in many church ministries, including Pioneer Girls, women’s ministries, Bible studies, and various committees. She longed for others to have the same hope she had found in Jesus. As an avid flower gardener, she delighted in gifting others with plants from her garden. As a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast, she would count the number of puzzles completed in a year and then share the puzzles with others. And, there was always time to learn a new craft and share the newfound knowledge with others, including campers at Camp Cherith in Maine. She loved her Klondike Ave neighborhood for many reasons and her summers, with family and dear friends, at Camp Wellville in Ashburnham, MA, provided her with deep friendships and many fun memories.

She is survived by Roger Barber (June) of Fitchburg, MA; Paul Norman (Jean) of Ashburnham, MA; Eunice Halbedel (Brian) of Rindge, NH; and three children, Thom Schotanus (Ellen) of Winchendon, MA; Tammy Schutt (David) of Mechanicsburg, PA; and Tracy Schotanus of Athol, MA. She was blessed with four beloved grandchildren, Justin Schotanus of Phoenix, AZ; Benjamin Schotanus of Gardner, MA; Hannah Hess of Mechanicsburg, PA; and Heidi Varberg of New Brighton, MN, plus seven great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews. Joyce and her husband welcomed others as family members, including Kathy Pierce and Suzan Elwell. Their home was a place of respite for many, including several foster children. She is predeceased by her beloved husband of 64 years, Raymond Schotanus.

SCHOTANUS -- A graveside service at Forest Hill Cemetery, 115 Mt Elam Road, Fitchburg will be held on Saturday, May 18, at 10:00 am, followed by a reception at the Highland Baptist Church, 19 Cedar Street, Fitchburg, MA. All are welcome. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, and Melissa A. McQuaid, Funeral Directors
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Saturday, May 18, 2024

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