JOYCE MOORE GOUWENS, 82, died peacefully on Friday, June 13, 2014 at Hanson Hospice Center in St. Joseph, Mich., after a brief illness. She was born Oct. 27, 1931 and grew up in Bloomington, Ind. where her father was an I.U. English professor and her mother was an I.U. librarian. She graduated in 1952 from I.U., where she majored in music. Joyce played viola for 25 years in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic where she also headed up their Volunteers' outreach program for inner-city children. For many years she led the children's choir at Bob's church in Fort Wayne and taught pre-school children until she began a practice as a hypnotherapist. When she and her husband, The Rev. Robert V. Gouwens, retired to their lake home in Bridgman, Mich., she played with the SMSO for 10 years and loved playing quartets. Their sons were born when Bob was serving the Buchanan Presbyterian Church from 1957 to 1964. Joyce was active in the Migrant Ministry then and later chaired that Ministry in Allen County, Ind.. During their retirement in Bridgman, she and Bob were both active with Hospice at Home and began a children's bereavement program for "Beach Buddies" on their Dunewood beach on Lake Michigan. Together they participated with University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University in the Innocence Project for Maurice Carter and later became active in seeking freedom for Efren Paredes, who, like Maurice, was imprisoned for life on false charges. She and Bob became part of Efren's family - Val and Hans Koppenhoefer and their younger sons, Daniel and Hansi Koppenhoefer. She was a Charter board member of Lory's Place and volunteered there for many years. She was active in Monday Musical, in the Berrien County Association of Churches, in its Street Ministry, HOSTS, and with the Community Restorative Board for juvenile first-offenders from its beginning in 2001, as well as in Bible Study Fellowship and in P.E.O. Chapter DG. She loved her 12 years as Senior Choir Director at Saron Lutheran - especially when her husband retired as pastor of the Christian United Church of Sawyer and sang in her choir until his death in 2007. They were blessed by 55 years of marriage. Surviving are her brother, Jack Moore of Oakland, Calif.; and her sister, Katherine Moore Wilson of Chapel Hill, N.C.; her two sons, John Gouwens of Culver, Ind. and Kenneth Gouwens of Storrs, Conn.; and by nephews and nieces. In 1993, Bob and Joyce sponsored a young Burmese family who had received political asylum and they greatly enjoyed becoming the grandparents of their four children. She was preceded in death by her parents, Professor John Robert Moore and Alice Beer Moore. A Memorial Service will take place at Fairplain Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Napier, Benton Harbor, Mich. at a later date. Services have been entrusted to Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, (MI 49085). In lieu of flowers, she has requested memorial gifts to Hospice at Home, Lory's Place, the SMSO, or to Fairplain Presbyterian Church. Those wishing to sign Joyce's Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com
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Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home
2650 Niles Road St. Joseph, MI 49085
Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on June 15, 2014