Joyce Elaine Firth, 87, of Colona, mother of Nancy Parker formerly of Geneseo, died Monday, March 25, 2019, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and Dementia at Reflections Memory Care in Washington, Ill. A funeral service was at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 2 at Colona United Methodist Church. A visitation was from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, April 1 at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., in Moline. Burial was at Greenview Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to either the Colona United Methodist Church of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Joyce was born Jan. 15, 1932, in Rock Island the daughter of Frank and Helen (Lang) DeVrieze. She married Robert “Bud” L. Firth on Jan. 6, 1951 in Rock Island and he preceded her in death on March 25, 2014.
After graduating from Rock Island High School, Joyce worked at a candy shop where she met her future husband Bud. She then worked as a school secretary for the Rock Island School District. She was employed in many different capacities over the years at Henry County Bank, First Midwest Bank, Blackhawk Bank and Port Byron State Bank. She worked as an election judge in Henry County for multiple elections.
Joyce was a former member of Memorial Christian Church in Rock Island and a current member of the Colona United Methodist Church where she had served as financial secretary for many years. She was a member of the Colona neighborhood “Birthday Club” and enjoyed her time with neighbors and friends. She also helped organize a local chapter of the Red Hat Society and served as the Queen for many years. Joyce loved to play bingo, cards, do puzzles, play Yahtzee and go shopping. Her love and devotion to her family was evident, as she never missed an event for any of her children and grandchildren. Over the years, Joyce and Bud enjoyed traveling by taking many bus trips through Sunshine Tours with friends and neighbors.
Joyce’s family will cherish the memory of her beautiful holiday decorating and the very special family traditions that she created. Joyce was a fantastic cook and no holiday dinner was complete without her homemade macaroni and cheese and her cherry pies. Every Thanksgiving, she gave every family member a personalized ornament and at Christmas she held “the Firth Family Sock Night” where she filled a stocking for each child, grandchild and great-grandchild. As the family grew, a separate night had to be held just to open all the stockings. She would also fix a delicious meal and have games for all the children to play at Sock Night.
She is survived by her children: Deborah (Keith) Baker, of Port Byron; Ronnie (Paula) Firth, of Moline; Nancy (Lee) Parker, of Morton; and Robin (David) Hunt, of Peoria; 11 grandchildren: Chad (April) Parker, Angela Parker, Kristin (Jason) DeBono, Jared (Courtney) Baker, Matthew (Brittany) Parker, Kara (Guy) Dierikx, Russell Firth, Kimberly (Joe) Klomes, Michael Firth, Wesley Hunt and Alex Hunt; 11 great-grandchildren: Maxton Parker, Molly Parker, Lilly Parker, Ellie Parker, Grace Parker, Lucy Parker, Myles Dierikx, Harper Dierikx, Tate Dierikx, Elliot Klomes and Sienna DeBono; sister, Barbara Plonka, of Huntsville, Ala.; and brothers, Robert DeVrieze, of Milan; and Ronnie DeVrieze, of Connecticut. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, Jeffery David Firth; great-grandson, Brayden Robert; sisters, Shirley Jackson and Beverly Etter; and brothers, James DeVrieze, Howard DeVrieze, Edward DeVrieze and Frank DeVrieze.