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Joyce O'Brien
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Memorial Services of Iowa

4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
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Memories & Candles

“Joyce was a wonderful friend and a very talented, ambitious lady. One of her talents was creating yarn paintings. It was when I saw her on a TV show...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Kathy Megivern - ANKENY, IA

“Joyce was a lovely lady and an amazing artist. We will miss her greatly.In 2011 she gave a TV interview to KCCI about her amazing needlework:In The...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Andrea and Jeff Baker - Mart, TX

Joyce M. O'Brien, 96, passed away August 24, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. She was born June 22, 1924 in Mingo, Iowa to Claude and Ferne (Means) Baker. They lived in Mingo until the Depression forced her family to move to various locations for work. She attended seven different high schools, and graduated from Oskaloosa in 1941.

Joyce worked at Bankers Trust in Des Moines during WWII, where she met her husband, Gene, at Babe's Restaurant downtown. They married December 28, 1945 in Cedar Rapids. After they were married, she worked at a number of jobs and companies including bookkeeping for a family-owned used car business, retail sales in a clothing store, owning and managing two roller skating rinks, accounting machine demonstrator for National Cash Register, office manager for Maico Hearing Aid Service, and accounting machine operator for Apache Hose. She lived in Cedar Rapids for many years and moved to Ankeny later in life to be near family. After Gene's retirement from his partnership with Van Dyke Auto Salvage in Cedar Rapids, they enjoyed extensive travel.

Joyce was a very talented seamstress and artist. She made her own prom dress and altered and created many of her own outfits. She painted only one oil painting, but was most prolific and proud of her 'yarn paintings', some of which are on public display. Joyce loved dancing. She danced every type of dance you can think of from the Jitterbug to square dancing. When Joyce and Gene lived in Cedar Rapids they became involved in a square dancing group and participated in competitions and conventions. Some of their closest friendships were formed with this group. Joyce also loved cruises and went on a number of cruises after Gene died. Some of the cruises were with friends, some by herself. She kept in contact for years with some of the people she met.

Joyce is survived by her niece and nephews, Judy (Dave) Weekley, Charles 'Chuck' Baker, Dwight (Julie) Baker, Jeff (Andrea) Baker, and Michael (Cheryl) O'Brien; and numerous great-nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; sister, Alice; brothers, Claude Jr., and John; and her husband, Gene.

A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 28, 2020 at Memorial Services of Iowa (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd). Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will take place at a later date at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The family would like to thank Dr. Seema Harichand-Herdt at John Stoddard Cancer Center and the staff of EveryStep Hospice for their excellent care.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the American Cancer Society in loving memory of Joyce.

To view the live stream on Facebook on Friday, August 28, 2020:
1. Follow this link to the Memorial Services of Iowa page or copy/paste the address into your internet browser:
2. 'Like' the page. (by doing this you will be able to see on your newsfeed when the livestream starts).
3. On Friday at 11:00 a.m. CDT go to the Memorial Services of Iowa page to view