Joy Leona Vandivort Case, 75, died peacefully on Friday, August 7, 2020, at home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her family by her side.
She was born on September 16, 1944 in Mountain Grove, Missouri, to Ira and Leona Vandivort. She was the youngest of three children; her siblings were Jerry and Bobby. Her parents and brothers preceded her in death.
Joy was raised on the family dairy farm in Texas County, Missouri. It was from modest beginnings in a Christian home and on the farm that Joy established her work ethic and passion for service. Joy lived with her mother, father and brothers in a two-room farmhouse that had no indoor plumbing or electricity. A springhouse served as a refrigerator by using the cool running water from a spring to keep their food. The home was heated with a woodstove. Cooking was done on a wood-fired cookstove. The house was located on the bluff of Hamilton Creek which had clear water and was a source of food, recreation, and an occasional bath. The family dairy farm was self-sufficient. They raised most of the food on the farm or grew it in the family garden. Often, they had fish and wild game as well. She loved the outdoors and loved to fish. When Joy was in the eighth grade, the family built a new home on the upper ridge of the farm with all the modern conveniences. It was then she had her own bedroom next door to a modern bathroom.
Joy attended the first eight years of her education in a one-room school at Oak Grove. Most of the days she would walk to and from school. Joy was a learner and loved to read. After graduating from the eighth grade at Oak Grove she went to Cabool High School, Cabool, Missouri, and graduated in 1962. As a student she excelled in her studies, especially the home economics classes. She was active in Future Homemakers of America (FHA) and served as a local chapter officer and a state officer in FHA. She was also a Thespian and was recognized for her participation in the arts at the local, state and national levels.
As part of a Christian family, she participated in church activities at First Baptist Church, Cabool. It was at the age of 16 that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized at the church. Jesus was always the light that she used to guide herself through life.
During her childhood, she was exposed to homemaking practices from her family. There were lots of good cooks in the family, especially her mother. Family practices were to be self-sufficient and this included such things as making your own clothes. Flour, sugar sacks and feed sacks supplied a lot of the material for clothes making. These skills were learned at an early age and provided a solid foundation for future studies and service throughout her life.
After high school, Joy sought more ways to develop her gifts in college at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She was the first in the family to graduate from college. At the university, she expanded her studies in food service and was active in many organizations. On June 7, 1966 she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in home economics. This was just the beginning of Joy’s amazing food service career.
While at the university, she met the love of her life, Larry D. Case. Larry and Joy were united in marriage on June 18, 1966 at First Baptist Church in Cabool. Joy used her talents to organize and plan her wedding. She even sewed her wedding dress. Joy and Larry were happily married for over 54 years.
Joy and Larry began their marriage adventure in Orrick, Missouri. There Joy continued to develop her career and love to serve by working as a child welfare worker for the Missouri State Welfare Department. Joy was active in the local church and sang in the Baptist choir.
In 1969, Joy and Larry welcomed her first child, Jeffrey Dale. Later in the summer of 1969, Joy and Larry continued the adventure and moved to Lexington, Missouri. Joy continued to serve as she worked as a substitute teacher for Lexington R-5 Public School, was active with the Young Farm Wives and helped with preparing and serving food at multiple functions in the First Baptist Church. It was in 1973 in Lexington that they welcomed their daughter, Rebecca Joy.
As the journey of service continued, Joy and Larry moved to Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1976. There Joy was active in the local community organizations, scouts, local schools, served in the church in many capacities and was the church hostess for the First Baptist Church. It was 1981 in Jefferson City that they welcomed Matthew Edward, their third child.
No matter where life led her, Joy always found time to serve her Lord, family and community. Joy loved to help women feel better and see their beauty. So she become a Mary Kay beauty consultant and remained active in Mary Kay for many years.
This journey continued as the family ventured east to Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1984. Joy continued her active service to the community. She enjoyed being a band mom, FFA mom, FFA Alumni life member and being active in the church. Joy was an active member and deacon of Fredericksburg Baptist Church.
While at Fredericksburg Baptist, she continued her passion of hospitality by helping in the church kitchen. She observed that there was a need to make people feel welcome in the church, so she helped establish a coffee cart on Sunday mornings. The cart featured hot coffee and homemade goodies that she and other ladies in the church would make. It proved to be a great success. Joy was active in many missions including the prayer shawl mission, Mica ministries, cradle roll and as a Sunday school teacher.
Joy managed the purchasing, preparation and serving the Fredericksburg Rotary Club breakfast every Wednesday for over 20 years. When she retired, the Rotarians honored her by naming her as a “Paul Harris Fellow.” The following inscription on the plaque conveys Joy’s selfless service: “In appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among the peoples of the world.”
Joy had a heart of service and devoted her life to helping others feel welcome and loved. She enjoyed preparing and serving food at several wedding receptions, anniversary receptions and special meal functions. In all that she did, Joy showed how to live and love just as Christ loves.
She will forever be remembered for showing all the love of homemade cooking, art of sewing, crocheting, quilting and love for recipes. To preserve many family recipes, she wrote a cookbook entitled “The Flowers Family Cookbook.” Additionally, to assist in raising funds for the church, she complied a book of recipes entitled “Coffee Cart Eats.” Joy loved to serve people.
Joy is survived by her husband, Larry; son, Jeffrey Dale Case and wife Chanda; daughter, Rebecca Joy Carter and husband Mike; son, Matthew Edward Case and wife Rebecca; grandkids, Riley Dale Case, Rachel Marie Case, Aaron Levi Carter, Annabelle Joy Carter, Evamarie Dorothy and Edward Ray Case; sister-in-law, Joyce Vandivort; and brother-in-law, David Case and wife Sharon. She was an aunt to Jason Vandivort, Julie Vandivort, Michelle Hall, and Mike Case; niece of Edgar Rust; and had several great-nieces and great-nephews and many cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following: Fredericksburg Baptist Church, https://abundant.co/fredericksburgbc/give; Mary Washington Hospice, https://www.marywashingtonhealthcare.com/Foundations/Mary-Washington-Hospice-Services.aspx; IPF Foundation-Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, https://ipffoundation.org/donate/; or Larry and Joy Case Endowment, https://ffa.givenow.stratuslive.com/ffadonate.
Graveside services were held Thursday, August 13, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at Union Cemetery in Texas County, Missouri, with Randy Scheets officiating. Pallbearers were Jason Vandivort, Terry Flowers, Doug Coday, Julie Vandivort, Mike Case, and Ben Vandivort.