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Ames, IA 50010
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Joyce E. Hertz

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Joyce E. Hertz Obituary
Joyce E. Hertz


Joyce Elizabeth Hertz, 68, passed away on August 28, 2013, at her home in Ames, Iowa from ovarian cancer.

Joyce, daughter of Keith and Miriam Dickson, was born May 5, 1945, in Des Moines, Iowa, while her father served in the WWII theatre in France.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas Arthur Hertz, whom she met in an Asian history class at Iowa State University. They were married on June 9, 1968, at the UCC-Congregational Church in Ames with no air conditioning on a 100° day. They celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in June of this year.

Joyce graduated from Ames High School, attended Iowa State University and graduated in 1967 with a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a major in Government, and then received a master's degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1972.

After graduating from Iowa State, she worked for the Iowa Department of Transportation in Ames and for The Rouse Company in Washington, DC while Tom was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 1969, they moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan. She taught political science as a graduate assistant while completing her graduate studies. She was active in the protests during this turbulent and changing time.

In August of 1972, she moved to Chicago with Tom and then to London, England, in September returning to Chicago in 1976. She enjoyed her years in Europe, especially the culture, history, countryside, and theatre. She made several return visits throughout her life.

In 1978, she moved to Ames and had lived in the same house for 34 years before moving down the street in December last year. She enjoyed working for Explore, a learning and travel store, for a number of years. She loved traveling and visited her children in Indonesia and Australia in addition to other international travel to visit friends and relatives and explore different cultures.

During her life, she was an active community volunteer, social justice advocate and leader. She served on the Ames City Council, was President of the League of Women Voters twice; received the Carrie Chapman Catt Award, and chaired numerous study committees to better the community and state. She was President of Mainstream Living, elected to the Story County Extension Council, and was instrumental in a number of affordable housing projects which assisted those in need at both the local, state, and national levels.

She was chair of the Mobile Home Purchase Program, President of Story County Housing, a founding member and President of the Story County Community Land Trust Network, and was elected as regional representative to the National Institute for Community Economics with board meetings in Springfield, Massachusetts held quarterly.

She was a long time member of the UCC-Congregational in Ames. She served in several leadership roles in the church included moderator, chair of several committees, serving as a representative at the church conference level, and on the Mayflower Homes Board of Trustees. She was also involved with A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS) which is an ecumenical community action group that helps our community in social justice issues, jobs, healthcare, and youth.

She thoroughly enjoyed the arts and was on the board of Town and Gown, supported the Ames International Orchestra Festival Association (AIOFA), and other music organizations. She loved music and attended as many concerts as feasible in central Iowa in addition to singing in the Ames Choral Society. She was also a member of Questers, Chapter HN PEO, a bridge group, gourmet group, and several book clubs.

Joyce is described by her friends and colleagues as passionate, full of life, vivacious, courageous, having a great sense of humor, a wonderful laugh, and a commitment to social justice. She was also committed to the value of cultural diversity and the contributions of all regardless of race, creed or origin. She was a critical thinker, a prolific reader with thousands of books and had broad and engaging interests on current events and global issues of our time. In recent years she took a keen interest in sustainable agriculture and played an active role in managing her family farm in Osage, Iowa.

She enjoyed being physically fit and spending time outdoors. She enjoyed hiking, exercise classes, yoga, and gardening. Even when she had lost her strength she took short walks in Moore Park to enjoy being outdoors.

Joyce is survived by her husband Tom. The last trip she was able to undertake was a trip to Colorado in June where they relived their honeymoon from 45 years ago. She is also survived by her two children and one grandchild who include: daughter Jana Claudine (H. Pieter Ferdinandus) of Washington, D.C.; and son Alan Thomas (Ana F.Ybarra-Rojas) and grandson Savion Yves (16 months) of Middleburg, Pennsylvania. She is also survived by her brothers Dave (Bonnie) of Ames, Iowa; Jon (Mary) of Fargo, North Dakota; and Jim (Val) of Ames, Iowa. She was preceded in death by her parents, Keith and Miriam Dickson of Ames, Iowa.

Memorials may be directed to the UCC-Congregational or in her memory to a . She had particular interest in supporting the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Mainstream Living, the Iowa Barn Foundation, League of Women Voters, Carrie Chapman Catt Center, Iowa Environmental Council, Story County Community Housing, and the Emergency Residence Project.

A visitation and viewing is planned on Friday, September 6, 2013 from 4-7pm at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, 414 Lincoln Way in Ames and a Celebration of Life Service at the UCC-Congregational Church, 217 6th Street, at 10:30am on Saturday, September 7, 2013 preceded by an organ prelude starting at 10:10am. Those wishing to send an on-line greeting, condolence, or memory may do so at

Published in Des Moines Register on Sept. 1, 2013
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