Joy Wheeler

July 6, 2023


Joy E (Vincent) Wheeler, 81, of Brookfield, passed away Thursday, July 6, 2023, with her family at her side.  She was born Brookfield, MO., October 25, 1941 to the union of Elmo and Helen (Bailey) Vincent.

Joy was born and raised on a farm North of Brookfield. She was brought to the family farm by her parents when she was one year old and lived on the farm prior to her brief illness at Boone Hospital.

Joy attended school through eighth grade in a one room school near the family farm. She later attended and graduated from Brookfield High School in 1959.

Joy married Harold Wheeler in 1984 and was married to him until his death in 2015. Joy was married to Larry Graves in 1972 and they had one child (Larry Wayne). Joy was married to Alan Foster in 1960 and they had four children (Deborah [deceased infant]; Randy; Mary; and Neal).

Joy was employed by Stanbury uniform company in Brookfield for a few years. She also held positions that reflected her love for cooking (banquet chef) at a daycare; head start school and Champlain’s restaurant. Over the years she enjoyed baking and decorating themed birthday cakes for her grandchildren. Her friends and family could attest to her cooking as being very good, fast and efficient but leaving a trail of flour, sugar and other cooking ingredients scattered over the kitchen and most of the time in her hair. She also planted a garden and flowers every year. She canned fruits and vegetables she raised during the summer and the family consumed the canned goods throughout the winter months.

Joy’s outside employment was brief as she realized her most enjoyable moments were spending time on the family farm. The family farm became a hobby farm over the years. She purchased and enjoyed many exotic animals that one typically does not find on a farm, such as: llamas; fainting goats; miniature horses and ponies; longhorn cattle; guineas; asian chickens and the goose family that arrived annually, laid eggs; hatched and raised their baby goslings on the farm pond.  

She enjoyed entertaining children; she at times assembled a petting zoo specifically for a child’s birthday party or participated in a parade dressed up in a clown outfit with a goat on a leash for everyone to pet as she traveled the parade route. She often hosted hayrides and weenie roasts at the farm and invited the neighbors, friends and their families to attend.

Joy enjoyed the holidays and decorating for the holidays. At times she had such a large display of lights strung around the farm during Christmas, there was a concern one might think the farm was an airplane landing strip. She always had wreaths specific to the nearest holiday adorning the front door to greet visitors into her home.

Joy, throughout her life, enjoyed the social events in her community. She was a member of the Meadville saddle club and loved to attend horse shows with her ponies and buggy. She also enjoyed many other activities such as: square dancing, camping (Mickey and Minnie camping club), Pershing Balloon Derby Observer.

Joy enjoyed and loved her home on the farm of 81 years. She often said, when crossing the Linn County line on highway 36, I am home, I have never lived anywhere else. Her quiet time on the farm consisted of painting scenery and flowers and sitting on the porch watching the wild animals, birds and cats play in the yard. She also loved long drives through the countryside.

Some of her friends that knew her and the family described her as having a “light and spirit like no one else”.

She will be missed by her friends and family as she had a strength and perseverance that couldn’t be ignored.

She had a large smile on her face during her last days knowing she had two great grandchildren on the way in the near future.

She is survived by her children, Dr. Randy Foster of Moberly, Mary “Margy” Barnes and her husband Todd of Columbia, MO., Neal Foster of San Antonio, TX. and Larry Graves of Kansas City, MO.,8 grandchildren, Broc Graves, Belle Graves/Christman, Rachel Foster, Kent Barnes, Hannah Foster, Andrew Barnes, Molly Foster and Emily Foster, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a infant daughter, Deborah, a brother John Vincent, and a infant sister Janel Vincent.

Donations in Joy’s memory can be made to the American Heart Association or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Private funeral services honoring Joy's life were held graveside at the Price Cemetery in New Boston, Missouri, followed by committal prayer and burial. 

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