Joyce Reader, 61

Loretha Joyce (Holbrook) Reader passed away on May 7. Joyce was a two-time kidney transplant survivor and fought a courageous 30-year battle with a degenerative kidney disease.  Joyce was born in Lima, Ohio on February 28, 1954 to Reverend W.J. and Betty (Prater) Holbrook. She moved with her family to Bryan in 1969, when her father became Pastor at the New Life Temple church.  Joyce attended Bryan High School from 1968 to 1972 where she contributed her musical talents to both the choir and a cappella choir. After graduation, she moved to Houston, Texas to attend Southern Bible College.  On November 20, 1976, Joyce married Steven J. Reader, her soulmate, best friend and life partner in Bryan. They resided there until 2007 when they relocated to St. Paris, Ohio; but always maintained close ties to Bryan and the Northwest Ohio area, including a summer home in Edgerton.  Joyce and Steve followed in her parents’ footsteps and pastored the New Life Temple church from 1990 until 2002.   She was known for her worship and devout faith and spent many years serving as an interim pastor and guest speaker for area churches. After a visit to the Holy Land, Joyce became especially fond of teaching and celebrating
Passover. Joyce was also an incredibly gifted vocalist and musician, and many people trace their very first memories of her to amazing performances she gave.  When Joyce and Steve moved to Saint Paris, she worked for the Village of Saint Paris in the Clerk’s Office. Prior to the move, she taught at Living Word Christian School in Stryker and worked for the Williams County Engineer and the Bryan Dental and Medical Groups.  Over the years, Joyce dedicated her free time to many community organizations including the Women’s Prayer Breakfast Committee, Church Women United, the Bryan Ministerial Association and the Bryan Madrigal Chorus.  More than anything Joyce loved spending quality time with her beloved family, numerous friends and especially cherished her role as “grammy.”  With her family, she loved camping at her summer home, attending theater performances and cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes’ as their number one fan.

Joyce is survived by her husband Steven of St. Paris, son Joseph (Amanda) Reader of Columbus, Ohio, daughter Mary Beth (Donald) Vermillion of Bryan, foster daughter Shannon Sponsler of Montpelier and four grandchildren, Donald, Gage, Spencer and Regina. She is also survived by her sisters Jerry (Larry) Hurley of Columbus Grove, Ohio and Debra (Steven) Beevers of Bryan; and her brothers David (Jamie) Holbrook of Bryan, Reverend J. Mark (Susan) Holbrook of West Unity and James (Shawn) Holbrook of Edgerton. In addition, she is survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by parents Reverend W.J. and Betty Holbrook, brother Kenneth Holbrook, maternal grandparents G.W. and Rachel (Music) Holbrook, paternal grandparents Elliott and Martha (Moore) Prater and her parents-in-law, Mary Reader and Vance and Isabelle Stantz.

Visitation for Loretha Joyce (Holbrook) Reader will be held Monday May 11, 2015 from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, 206 North Lynn Street, Bryan. Funeral services for Joyce will be held Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at New Life Worship Center, Bryan, with Pastor Dan Holbrook, Pastor J. Mark Holbrook and Dr. James Adams officiating. Interment will follow at Fountain Grove Cemetery. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at New Life Worship Center.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider a memorial contribution to Lifeline Ohio, located at 770 Kinnear Road #200, Columbus, Ohio, 43212.

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