Joyce Leigh Straughn
August 31, 1942 - June 13, 2018
Joyce Leigh (Fitzer) Straughn, 75, of Indianapolis, died June 13, 2018, at Zionsville Meadows, where she had lived since February 2017.
Visitation is 5-9 p.m. Friday, June 15, at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 3535 W. Kessler Blvd. N Drive, Indianapolis, where she had been a member since her high school years. The funeral service is 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16, at the church. A luncheon will follow. Private burial will be a later date at Washington Park North Cemetery, Indianapolis. Simplicity Funeral & Cremation Care, Zionsville, is handling arrangements.
She was born Aug. 31, 1942, in Indianapolis to Cecil and Eloise (Moody) Fitzer. The family moved from Logansport, Ind., to Indianapolis when Joyce was in eighth grade. She graduated from Pike High School in 1960 and maintained close friendships with many of her classmates and was instrumental in organizing class reunions.
She married David Straughn on July 22, 1967, in Indianapolis, and the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a surprise party last summer at Zionsville Meadows. They were set up on a blind date by mutual friends on New Year’s Eve 1966 and were married less than seven months later. David often said that she was the best thing that ever happened to him. Joyce and David served side by side in the Pike Township Lions Club.
She returned to her high school building in 1982 to work in the then-Lincoln Middle School as a library aide and later served as the school’s treasurer. Joyce was meticulous in her work and often had a pencil tucked behind her ear in case she needed to jot something down. Her desk and kitchen table were littered with notes to herself written on cards from the school library’s old card catalogs. She retired in 2008 and enjoyed attending retiree breakfasts monthly.
She attended Indiana University in Bloomington and Indianapolis before taking over office operations for her father’s plumbing supply business. While her children were young, she worked from home keeping books for several Pike Township businesses and her church. She showed her children never to be scared to try something. When a friend’s lawnmower was broken and the grass was growing taller by the day, she tore apart the lawnmower – parts littered the front yard — and figured how to fix it. She had a sharp wit and sometimes a sharp tongue.
In her younger years, she was an avid water skier, which she honed spending summers on Lake Shafer in Monticello, Ind. She bragged that she escaped getting strung by Portuguese man o’ war when skiing in Florida by refusing to fall into the water.
Joyce could throw together a summer yard party with little notice. Neighbors on Nature Drive in Indianapolis regularly would pitch in whatever they were having for dinner and gather in Joyce and David’s front yard under shade trees. Joyce and David enjoyed going out to dinner with friends most Friday nights.
Joyce is survived by her husband David; daughter Janet (Dan) Hill of Moline, Ill.; son Michael (Stacey) Straughn of Fishers, Ind.; three grandsons, Zac and Aiden Straughn and Matt Hill; four step-grandchildren, Olivia and Jackson Flora and Taylor and Griffin Sampson; and numerous dear friends.
She was preceded by her parents and infant brother.
Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.