Joy Cole Corning
1932 - 2017
Iles Funeral Homes - Dunn's Chapel - Des Moines
2121 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA
Joy Cole Corning

Des Moines

Not many people get the luxury of writing their obituary but I do. So here goes:

Joy Cole Corning was born Sept 7, 1932 and died on May 20, 2017. My parents were Ethel Sullivan Cole and Perry Aaron Cole. I had two younger siblings, Clark and Frank. I graduated from Bridgewater High School in 1949 and later, from Iowa State Teachers College (UNI), with a degree in Kindergarten and Primary Education. After teaching for a short time, I married Burt Corning in June 1955, which was the smartest thing I did in my life. We lived in Cedar Falls, Iowa our entire married life.

We had three wonderful daughters, Carol, Claudia, and Ann. I quickly became involved in community organizations and have continued giving my time to organizations for which I am passionate. I am most passionate about issues related to children and families, women's health & rights, equality and justice, education and the arts.

Pre-deceased are my parents, husband, brother Frank, and my son-in-law Brad Peyton. I leave behind my three daughters Carol (Allan) Hallquist of Kansas City, Missouri, Claudia Peyton of Urbandale, Iowa and Ann (Patrick) Lyons of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Also surviving me are my nine grandchildren, two step grandchildren, my brother Clark and special cousins, David, Sally, and Sue.

If you choose to contribute to a memorial, these are four that I have been involved in and appreciate their missions in our community: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Foundation, Plymouth Church Foundation, UNI Foundation and the Des Moines Symphony Foundation.

Thanks to all who have contributed to and enriched my life.


Her daughters added:

Mother was fortunate to have served Iowans as Cedar Falls School Board President, State Senator, and Lt Governor. She was also on many boards and foundations. Besides being the most wonderful mother any of us could ask for, we are proudest that Mother's life was a model of class and grace, kindness and cooperation, service and civility. She led by example and always saw the good in everyone. She was active until the very end on efforts that supported human rights and justice for all.

In our mother's memory, please hug a child, help someone in need, or volunteer your time to a cause for which you are passionate. And remember to vote.

Most of all, mom would like you to be kind to one another.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 pm on Wednesday, May 24 and Memorial services will be held Thursday May 25 at 11 am, both at Plymouth Congregational Church, 4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines.

Published by the Des Moines Register from May 22 to May 23, 2017.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
4:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
Plymouth Congregational Church
4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA
Memorial service
Plymouth Congregational Church
Des Moines, IA
Funeral services provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes - Dunn's Chapel - Des Moines
Sponsored by Iles Funeral Homes - Dunn's Chapel - Des Moines.
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17 Entries
A life well lived, well given and well loved. A role model to so many--even to those she barely knew or maybe met only once. Now she is off to her next adventure!
Libby allman
May 25, 2017
Joy was an inspiration. A life well lived..
Neil Salowitz
May 25, 2017
A beautiful "addition" to your mother's humble account of her life. Your tribute captures her as I remember and I am grateful to have known her through two of her girls. Blessings to all three of you and to the rest of your family and friends.
Kimberly Zarley
May 23, 2017
We really became acquainted with your mom as Leon and your Dad worked together at AG Edwards. We were so proud of her as she served in our community on our school board, our state as senator and Lt. Governor. After your Dads's death, I would see her at 50/50 by 2020 meetings and look forward to reading her Christmas letter which updated us on how she continued to serve. The world is certainly a better place because of Joy. SHe will be missed by her family and the many organizations she gave leadership. Leon and Gloria Tollefson, Cedar Falls
Leon and Gloria Tollefson
May 23, 2017
Joy and her family have been family friends since shortly after we moved to Iowa in 1972. I have so many memories of her--all good and more than a few at pivotal points in my life. My heart mourns for the beautiful, resourseful, giving, and compassionate person she was. Carol, Claudia, and Ann, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.
Susan Zeigler
May 22, 2017
Joy and I were both on the board for Prevent Child Abuse Iowa. I have admired and appreciated her advocacy for children. She was a great lady.
Marilyn Lantz
May 22, 2017
Joy's daughter Claudia is a dear ISU friend and I was in her wedding. Being around Claudia's mother was always a 'true joy' as she was smart, kind and very interesting. (I remember when Joy was elected Lt. Governor, I watched from Wisconsin and felt proud to say I knew Joy Corning!)

Thinking of you Claudia, as well as your sisters and your families. I hope to see you when I am visiting Des Moines this weekend.
Mary Carr Lee
May 22, 2017
The Van Steenhuyse family shares your loss. We remember especially how Joy and our mother, Helen, worked together on Iowa Association of School Board issues and initiatives. They became fast friends. We are imagining them hugging and laughing together now, reunited in heaven, after lives of service and vision, well-lived. Losing Joy leaves a big hole but her legacy lives on, benefitting all Iowans. We will keep all of your family in our thoughts and prayers.
Kathleen and Frank Van Steenhuyse
May 22, 2017
Positive and focused. Joy touched my life through her involvement in the Des Moines Symphony Association, the fight (particularly in 2010) to keep partisan politics and money out of the selection and retention of Iowa judges, and the Des Moines Public Library. She supported culture, believed in good government, and she fostered democratic access to knowledge and education. Never cynical nor negative, she brought hope, a positive attitude, and was prepared and followed through with whatever tangible and intangible support she could provide.
Norbert Kaut
May 22, 2017
Joy was my father's first cousin (Hillas Cole) and I was privileged to become a friend as an adult. She was a splendid example of one who walked the walked and talked the talk. I will miss her.
Kathie Cole Freeman
May 22, 2017
Sending my thoughts and prayers to all of Joy's family, especially Ann and her three children, two of whom I was lucky enough to have in my first grade classroom years ago. When I was a teacher for Alex and then Ellen, Joy would occasionally stop at school to visit her grandkids and spend time talking with and reading to my whole class. She was a classy, caring woman. My sincere condolences to all of you.
Laurie Wyckoff
May 22, 2017
I remember that my father, Clyde Davis, was proud of the fact that he was related to Joy when she became Iowa's Lt. Governor. My condolences to the family. Shirley (Davis) Haynie.
May 22, 2017
I had the pleasure of knowing Joy and working with her on a committee. She was one of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever known. She will be missed.
Allan Demorest
May 21, 2017
Such a beautiful and kind soul. She truly led by example. There are so many reasons to be proud of Joy, what an honor that you got to call her "Mom".
Love and prayers to you-
Sue Kunkle
May 21, 2017
My late husband, Larry Hoch, and I were fortunate to have known Ms. Corning, and so appreciative of her support for marriage equality in Iowa. She was truly a 'class act' in today's political climate. May God rest her soul.

David Twombley
David Twombley
May 21, 2017
Some people really fit their name. Joy Corning was one of those people. In addition to joy, her heart was filled with love, hope and optimism. She was a proud champion of women's rights and never hesitated to take on assignments to empower others. She had a great motto that I never quite learned to master, "If you can't say something nice, be vague". Her passing is a great loss to her family and community. She was the quintessential role model of a Civil Servant in a world that has grown increasingly uncivil. We can take some comfort in our gratitude for her abiding love of us and the wisdom she so generously shared. Hers was a life well lived and one that is remembered.
Jill June
May 21, 2017
Joy's daughters say it best: "....Mother's life was a model of class and grace, kindness and cooperation, service and civility. She led by example and always saw the good in everyone. "

She lived her name, a Joy to know and a role model for all. While I didn't know her well, every encounter with her was a pleasure. Peace, Joy.
Katy Gammack
May 21, 2017
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