Joyce Marie Domire, age 69, was not just of Middleville, or from Middleville, she embodied the best of what Middleville is. When she passed away on January 17, 2021, and went peacefully home to her heavenly father, she left behind an entire community of people who can proudly say they were better off because they knew her. She was one of the most generous, compassionate, vibrant people to ever grace the Earth, and she will be forever loved and deeply missed by her students, co-workers, community members, friends, and family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joyce Marie Domire, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Joyce was born on March 11, 1951, in Metamora, Ohio to Kenneth and Florine (Lumbrezer) Domire. She graduated from MSU with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education and later earned an additional Master’s Degree in Counseling from WMU. Joyce put her degrees to good use during her 28-year tenure at Thornapple Kellogg Schools. Her impact as a teacher, coach, mentor, and friend during this time cannot be overstated. She positively impacted thousands of TK students who were lucky enough to spend a semester or two in her classroom. For some, Joyce’s friendly smile and affable demeanor were a bright spot in their day. Alumni, no doubt, all have their favorite Ms. Domire stories, and delight in sharing them whenever they get together. But for others, Joyce’s support, encouragement, and assistance was more than that— it was literally a lifeline, keeping them afloat during tough times in their lives. She may not have even known the breadth of her impact on so many students, but they all did. She was truly a once-in-a-generation educator.
Joyce once said that she came to Middleville looking for a job, but ended up finding another family. As blessed as she felt by this fortuitous hiring, the school community of TK was even more blessed to receive her and to benefit from her years of service. She was always willing to give her time, her money, her possessions, and her warm radiant personality to any student or staff member who was in need. Her listening skills, wise advice, and hearty laugh endeared her to many, and her impact on the lives of those who were lucky enough to know her will not soon be forgotten.
Joyce’s generosity of spirit was not reserved solely for those associated with TK Schools, but rather, the outreach of her kindness and compassion extended far past the bounds of the district. For years, she was the co-owner of The Scoop Ice Cream Company in downtown Middleville with Terri VanderKooi, a business that was more than just a business. Sure, it was a place where people could sit at the counter and enjoy a chocolate malt, but because of Joyce and Terri’s warm, hospitable, people-first mindset, it became a cornerstone of the Middleville community. Friends and families gathered to celebrate there, young people got their first jobs there, and everyone knew that they would be accepted and taken care of there, if nowhere else.
Upon retiring from teaching, coaching, and the ice cream business, Joyce could have taken a well-deserved break from the working world, but that wasn’t her style. Up until her very recent diagnosis with cancer last year, Joyce worked at Otto’s Turkey Farm and Euro Lighting. Joyce became co-director at Lincoln Meadows Apartments where she added loving support for her residents to the list of people she loved and helped. She was an unstoppable force, a fierce advocate for others, and an exceptionally hard worker. If something needed to be done, no matter how menial or difficult, Joyce was not one to sit idly by or delegate. She simply rolled up her sleeves and got to work.
It was that sense of urgency, the tireless work ethic, the unbridled enthusiasm she had for life and for other people, that made her so special. Joyce often expressed gratitude for the wonderful friendships she found throughout the years, but it was her amazing spirit that forged and sustained those relationships all the while. She was always the one to send cards of congratulations or condolences. She was always the one to invite people to dinner, or to give people a place to stay when they needed it. Joyce built a beautiful life for herself, her friends, and her family— one that was grounded in pure, unfiltered kindness and the joy of helping others.
If you were lucky enough to know Joyce, may you be comforted in your loss by some of her favorite words of advice, to “live simply and be grateful”. Be grateful for the time you spent in her company, for the good things in your life that she helped foster, and for the memories you’ll always have of a woman who lived simply, gave generously, and radiated God’s love.
Joyce will be dearly missed by her sister, Virginia Steers of Angola, IN; her brothers, Anthony Domire of Angola, IN and Ray (Judy) Domire of Delaware, OH, sister-in-law, Julia Domire of Angola, IN, and several nieces and nephews. Also, her dearest friend, Terri VanderKooi and Joyce’s adopted family, the VanderKoois: Jan (Jim) Pascavis, Jessica (Alex) Kever, Gayle (Jim) DeHudy. Also, a special family, the Blairs: Wanda, Mike, Brittany, Alex, and Michael. As well as many friends she chose as an extended family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother, William Domire, and her adopted nephew, Jimmy Pascavis.
Per Joyce’s wishes cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be announced and held at a later date. For those wishing to honor Joyce through memorial contributions please send to Middleville United Methodist Church, and Thornapple Kellogg Schools-- Food Services Department 10375 Green Lake Road Middleville, MI 49333-for students that may need lunch money assistance. Please visit www.beelergoresfuneral.com to share a memory or leave a condolence message for Joyce’s friends and family.