KERSHNER, Joyce (Smith)|
Joyce Kershner, a devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, passed away Sunday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2014, with her family by her side at the age of 79 after a valiant battle with breast cancer.
Joyce was born Aug. 3, 1934, in San Antonio, Texas, to Leander "Node" and Inez Smith. She was the oldest of five children and the only girl. She met the love of her life, Walter Kershner, at the tender age of 13. He joined the U.S. Navy, and when she was 17 and he was home on leave, the two eloped. The couple had three daughters: Diane, Denise and Michelle. Walter and Joyce raised their young family in the Corpus Christi area near the military base, and later moved to Norman, Okla. Joyce was quite proud that Walter was the youngest aeronautics instructor ever hired by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Joyce was widowed at just 29 years old when Walter had a sudden heart attack in 1964 when he was 33 years old. She and her three young daughters immediately moved back to the Austin area to be near extended family.
During the early years of her career, Joyce worked at the executive offices for Mr. Howard E. Butt of H-E-B grocery stores in San Antonio. She worked for many years at the Austin Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was heavily involved in helping open the Travis County Exposition and Heritage Center. She later worked at the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners for a number of years, then was hired by the Texas Chiropractic Association. Joyce was a consummate professional and earned the respect and friendship of many colleagues. She retired in 2003 and finally learned how to sleep past 4 a.m.
Joyce was ever a lady and was always decked from head to toe, sporting stylish outfits, polished nails and matching shoes-usually high heels.
Joyce is preceded in death by her husband, Walter; her parents, Leander and Inez Smith; her mother- and father-in-law, Horace and Jean Kershner; her brothers Leonard Ray "Buddy" and Richard; aunt Martha Mock; and grandson Jaxxon Salinas. She is survived by her three daughters, Diane and husband, David; Denise and husband, James; Michelle and wife, Rhonda; her brothers Roger and Charles Smith; grandchildren Amy Stansbury, Jason Salinas, Mindy Goode, Justin Leonard, Lauren Boudreaux, Jessica Armstrong and Cameron Kenneally, their spouses, and 13 great-grandchildren who absolutely adored her.
The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors at St. David's Round Rock Medical Center for the excellent care and compassion shown to Joyce during the last three weeks.
Pallbearers are sons-in-law David Leonard and James Salinas, and grandsons Cameron Kenneally, Justin Leonard and Jason Salinas.
A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, and funeral at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 at Austin-Peel and Son Funeral Home, 607 East Anderson Lane in Austin. Joyce will be buried next to her husband, Walter, at Austin Memorial Park, 2800 Hancock Drive in Austin.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Feb. 5 to Feb. 6, 2014