Joyce Elayne Vernon, 81, of McCook, NE, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, September 1 2019 in McCook.
Joyce was born March 9, 1938 in Norton, Kansas to Lawrence H. and Ruth Rusink. She grew up on the family farm north of Norton and graduated from Norton County High School.
On August 26, 1956, Joyce married Chuck E Vernon of Oberlin, KS, they were blessed with four children, Kimberly, Kinda, Kirby and Korky.
Over the years, Joyce set high goals for herself and persevered to achieve those goals. In 1972, Joyce graduated with a RN Diploma from Presbyterian School of Nursing in Denver, CO. A few years later, she followed with a BS in Healthcare with Nursing Specialty at Colorado Women’s College and a MS in Healthcare Administration from College of St. Francis in Illinois. Joyce also obtained a Burn Nurse Specialist Certificate, Certification as a Wound Care Specialist and a Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse.
Joyce worked for 25 years for Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. She then opened a Wound Care Center associated with Memorial Hospital of Colorado Springs, followed by many years as a Hospice specialist. While at Penrose, Joyce directed the Certified Nurse Aide Training program where she taught a total of 740 nurse aides. Many of these students went on to positions such as therapists, social workers, teachers and physicians because of the enthusiasm Joyce had for the medical profession. She received many awards in her career,
the ultimate being recognized as a recipient of the Colorado Nightingale Nursing Award for excellence in nursing in 2005.
Joyce married Chuck Edmunson in 1992 and they enjoyed 10 years of marriage, travel, companionship, and raising grandchildren before his passing in 2003.
In 2014, Joyce moved from Colorado Springs, CO to Trenton, NE. Her greatest joys in life were her children and grandchildren, working in her garden, riding her bicycle, walking, caring for many beloved pets, and working on her Victorian home. She enjoyed traveling to see family and watched countless athletic events as a superfan. Joyce was seldom idle, always seeking to help others, and life did not pass her by. She certainly enjoyed life to the fullest.
Joyce attended Faith Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs where she served as a deacon, an elder and became a Stephen Minister in the first program sponsored by Faith. She was also a member of the Trenton First United Methodist Church.
Those left to celebrate her life include her children, Kimberly Kay Vernon, Kinda Kay Byrge, Charles Kirby Vernon, and Korky Duane Vernon; Dawna Vap; her grandchildren, Christopher, David, and Joshua Copelan, Nickolas Byrge, Jessica Ware, BreeAnn Vernon, Sophie, Olivia, and Bliss Vernon; her great grandchildren Keegan and Hawken Copelan, Colby, Kinsey, and Kennedy Byrge, Jadyn and Janyssa Wadley, Kaylen and Kamdyn Ware.
Joyce will be missed my many for her graciousness, love, and kindness in every community she has been a member of.
Memorial Services are planned for a later date with inurnment to follow in the Norton Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Community Home Health and Hospice, 1301 East H St., McCook, NE 69001
To send flowers to Joyce's family, please visit our floral section.
New Century Hospice
6270 Lehman Drive Suite 150, Colorado Springs CO 80918