Joy Elaine Kowert, 75, of Stevensville passed away Thursday, July 26, 2018.
Joy was born February 5, 1943 in Amarillo, Texas the daughter of the late Joseph and Grace (Maddux) Coats. Joy taught at Grinnell Community Schools and Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Illinois.
Survivors include her husband of 50 years, Eugene and a daughter Kara (Josh Cash) Kowert.
Arrangements have been entrusted to The Boyd Chapel of Pike Funeral and Cremation Services, 9191 Red Arrow Highway, Bridgman.
A few years ago, my mom started to lose her memory. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with dementia. Yesterday, she passed away in her sleep.
My mom taught me to appreciate and create art--dance, music, theater, fine arts. She was a talented actress and singer, star of her college theater. She taught English at Homewood-Flossmoor H.S. before I was born. She worked as a graphic artist while working on her Master's Degree at GSU. She was a homemaker who refurbished an older home in Homewood with the help of my dad. She was an excellent gardener and a real green thumb. She lived in two beautiful homes in Michigan after my dad retired and created lovely gardens and well-decorated rooms in the cottage style.
Most of my creative and artistic talent was influenced by my mom. She also had a brilliant, inquisitive and open mind. When I was in high school, we used to watch foreign films together, reading the subtitles and then discussing the plot and characters for hours. She taught me to be curious about other cultures and countries, to never judge someone by their appearance and to try to learn something new every day.
We argued, as daughters and mothers often do, but there was always love and deep respect between us. She constantly challenged me to do better but, in the end, she was my biggest fan and most ardent supporter. She sat through endless ballet recitals, plays, belly dance shows and read many of my academic papers. She was a story teller, like her mom, and kept the family memories alive by retelling tales of spring and summer escapades in Grove (Oklahoma), Texas, Michigan, Park Forest and Olympia Fields. She would sometimes tease you, with a twinkle of mischief in her eye, but she did not lie. She told me the truth, even when it was hard to swallow, but I knew I could always trust her and get sound advice.
My mom wasn't perfect but she tried the best she could to raise a daughter who would make her proud. She loved my dad and supported us both with her passionate heart. We will miss her terribly.