Obituary of Joyce Boehmler Blum
Joyce Boehmler Blum passed away peacefully March 11 at Bickford Senior Living Center in Iowa City, after 95 years in this world. Joyce was an amazing ray of sunshine who touched many lives with her gifts of love and happiness, which she gladly shared with others. She lived her life to the fullest and enjoyed every moment spreading the “Joy” in Joyce. Joyce was born Sept. 7, 1926, to Ronald and Mabel (Evans) Boehmler of Hampton. Her father, known as “Mr. B,” with the “Jungle” in the backyard where Joyce, her brother, sister, and generations of neighborhood children would play. Joyce was a graduate of Hampton High School, class of 1944. In 1948, she graduated from the University of Iowa, where she was a Kappa Alpha Theta, a Hawkeye Beauty 1945, and an art major studying with renowned printmaker Mauricio Lasansky. At the University of Iowa, Joyce also developed a very close-knit group of classmates and sorority sisters, who enjoyed regular, fun-filled reunions throughout the years. In 1946, Joyce married Lee B. Blum, also a native of Hampton. After Lee earned his JD at the University of Iowa, they returned to their hometown and raised five children. Joyce was known for having an extraordinarily green thumb. During the cold, Iowa winters, she made her own botanical garden spanning the windows of her living and dining rooms, with plants spilling over the top of the fireplace separating the rooms. In the spring, she would take them all outside again. Sharing flowers and plants with others was one of her favorite things to do. Joyce loved to read and often burned the midnight oil. She also loved art, opera, musicals, plays, museums, life-long learning, and traveling—chasing eclipses across the globe. In fact, one of her last trips was to Missouri to see the total eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21, 2017. Five children did not put a damper on Joyce’s passion for travel. For family vacations, she would pack everyone into the station wagon with an ice chest full of food and a huge thermos for picnics along the way. Before each trip, she would diligently research the route, looking for historical and cultural highlights which, pre-internet, meant ordering travel brochures, visiting the library, and studying the atlas. As the family navigator, Joyce always had a map on her lap to guide the family to one of the many destinations: Montana, Yellowstone, the Grand Teton National Park, Washington D.C., the 1964 New York World’s Fair, New England’s Old Sturbridge Village and Cape Cod. In Cape Cod, she unsuccessfully encouraged her children to sample fish delicacies rather than hamburgers and french fries, as part of the full cultural experience. Always up for adventure, enroute to Washington D.C., she threw herself enthusiastically into camping out in the woods, only to be flooded out by rain. Joyce was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church UCC of Hampton. A consummate volunteer, she served on the Hampton School Board, the Iowa Regional Library Association Board, the Franklin County Arts Council, AFS, PEO, As You Like It, and other local organizations. Continuing a family tradition, Joyce donated her body to her alma mater, the University of Iowa, for scientific research. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, June 4, 10 a.m. at the Beed’s Lake lodge in Hampton. If thunderstorms are predicted, the celebration will be held at the Congregational Church in Hampton. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the First Congregational Church, the Franklin County Arts Council, the Hampton Public Library, or another local organization. Joyce was the best wife, sister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Survivors include her sister Barbara Pierson of Sugar Loaf, New York; daughters: Angie (Steve) Feig of Hutchinson Island, FL; and Ginny Tunnicliff of Clarksville; sons: Tom (Cinzia) Blum of Iowa City; Ted (Wendy Muench) Blum of Pilot Mound; grandchildren: Dan Blum, Audrey (Jason) Arndt, Alexandra Feig, Becca Feig, Alison (James) Tunnicliff-Scott, Graham Tunnicliff, Ian Tunnicliff; great-grandchildren: Cody, Collin (Lexey), and Alli Arndt; and Ashley and Hunter Blum. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Lee Blum; her parents Ronald and Mabel Boehmler; her brother, Bill Boehmler; son, David Blum; and her parents-in-law John and Ottilia Blum. To share a thought, memory or condolence please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.