Cover photo for Joyce A. Tharp's Obituary
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Joyce A. Tharp

May 31, 1932 — July 1, 2024

Central Lake

Joyce A. Tharp

Joyce A. Tharp, 92, of Central Lake, MI, passed into the loving embrace of our Savior on July 1, 2024, and entered into Heaven, where we believe she is reunited with our loved ones waiting there for her. 

 Born on May 31, 1932, she was the daughter of Gerald A. and Marion G. (Johnston) Telgenhof. 

 Joyce lived nearly her entire life in Central Lake. She was Valedictorian of the Class of 1950 and enjoyed playing on the high school basketball team. Shortly after graduating high school, while working as school secretary, she also became the high school girl's basketball coach, in an era of time when non-teachers required special permission from the State of MI to serve as coaches. 

While she was employed in a variety of occupations, service to community was a common theme running throughout, ranging from Central Lake School Secretary (when there was only one secretarial position for the entire district), Secretary for the Children's Welfare Dept in Charlevoix, and Secretary for the State Hospital in Traverse City. Continuing this theme of service, she was a dedicated and trusted bus driver for Central Lake Public Schools for many years, retiring in 1990. She also served as the Central Lake Village Treasurer from 1974-2000. Doing things right, and to a high standard, accompanied her throughout each position and every aspect of her employment. 

 Music was integral to Joyce's life. She was a talented, self-taught pianist and organist, who played beautifully and with the ability to hear a song and then play it by ear without written music. She began playing the organ for local funerals in the 1950's and continued into the 1980's. As the funeral home changed owners and names throughout the decades (Diton, Ebert and, finally, Mortensen) her music remained a constant.  While she felt blessed to provide musical solace for many families during their times of sorrow, she also had the opportunity to share in joyous occasions as well, having played for countless weddings.  

 She found great joy in providing piano and organ music for the Central Lake United Methodist Church, where she had been a member for over 75 years. She was particularly proud of having reached this milestone recently upon her 92nd birthday. She had continued to play for church each Sunday well into her 90's, as her health allowed.

 Joyce was extremely humble and was exceptionally uncomfortable receiving any complement on her musical talent. She saw any accolade as an opportunity to deflect attention from herself and consistently offered glory to God for her musical ability. She had a quiet, steadfast faith, which flowed from her fingertips as she played, providing comfort and solace for herself and others throughout life's ups and downs. 

Joyce married Everett A. Tharp on August 12, 1961 at the Central Lake United Methodist Church. They lived briefly in Traverse City and then settled in Central Lake, where they raised their family and celebrated 58 years of marriage, prior to Everett's passing in 2020. 

 Joyce was a loving and dedicated daughter, wife and mother. Many years were spent devotedly visiting and caring, first, for her mother while she was a resident of Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility and, years later, when her husband also became a resident there. 

She was known by her family to be a diligent homemaker. She found the rituals of seasonal spring and fall housecleaning to be rewarding and greatly enjoyed decorating. She particularly loved the holidays, which offered the opportunity to create special family memories and traditions. Great effort was put into Christmas decorating in each room and included elaborate Christmas villages. Joyce also treasured her collectible wooden dollhouses, which she and Everett constructed and decorated together upon her retirement. 

Joyce found much pleasure in travel; including family camping trips and vacations, with favorite destinations being the Eastern states as well as Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains. She had a great love for Southern Gospel Music and made many special memories on Girls' Trips with her daughter to the National Quartet Convention, in Louisville, KY and Pigeon Forge, TN. 

 She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Gerald H. Telgenhof, and infant sister Marilyn June. 

 Left to cherish her memory are daughter Everell (Vernon) Preston; son George Tharp: grandchildren Paul Preston, Chelsie Preston, Alycia Tharp, John Tharp and Faith Tharp; brother Ronald (Ruth) Telgenhof; sister-in-law Kay Telgenhof; several nieces, nephews and cousins and her Central Lake United Methodist Church family. 

 Joyce was a beloved family member and friend who will be missed by so many.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 20th at 2 p.m. at the Central Lake United Methodist Church with the family receiving friends from Noon until the time of service. Graveside services will take place on Monday, July 22, at 1p.m.

 Arrangements are in the care of the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce A. Tharp, please visit our flower store.

Today's Services

Graveside Service

Monday, July 22, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, July 20, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Central Lake United Methodist Church

8147 W. State St., Central Lake, MI 49622

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Funeral Service

Saturday, July 20, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Central Lake United Methodist Church

8147 W. State St., Central Lake, MI 49622

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