Joyce L. (McLaughlin) Gordon

Died March 23, 2019


Joyce Lynn (McLaughlin) Gordon, 63, of St. Helen passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Saturday, March 23, 2019, at MidMichigan Medical Center - West Branch.

She was born March 13, 1956, in St. Clair Shores, the daughter of the late Benjamin and Eleanor (Holtzman) McLaughlin. She grew up in St. Clair Shores, one of 11 children born to Eleanor and Benjamin. When Joyce was 16 years old, she moved with her parents and younger siblings to Mio, where her parents owned and operated Parkway House Restaurant. In the early days, Joyce worked in her parents’ restaurant doing everything from waitressing to cooking. She was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars along with her mother, who was the president of the Ladies Auxiliary for many years. In her adult life she became a closing secretary for several of the local real estates and eventually got her real estate license. But restaurant life was in her blood and she continued in that line of work until she retired.

Joyce was loved by many people because of her love for everyone else. She was always the first to offer help in any situation. The family business made her into an exceptional cook where she always went above and beyond for all family gatherings because that is the time when she could shine. If you did not know her personally, you might know her by her locally infamous pies at the Downtown Cafe in West Branch. She also loved bingo, gambling, playing cards and crafting, and was quite tech-savvy for her age, with online social networking and games. She had a hilarious sense of humor, and could light up a room with her smile because she dearly loved to laugh. The only thing that was more dear to her were her grandchildren, who adored her as much as she adored them. Her home was always warm and inviting, and spotless; you’d never leave hungry. She will be missed by many.

Surviving are her daughters Tracey (Ira) Schram of Mio, Stephanie Onweller of Gladwin, Kathryn (Luc) Forest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Krista (Jesse) Connon of Castor, Alberta; grandchildren, Dylan Terpening of Rose City, Dalton Terpening of Traverse City, Tia Terpening of Mio, Kayla Hausler of Lansing, Zachary Hausler of West Branch, Michael Waynee and Benjamin Waynee of Whitemore, Authom Waynee of Gladwin, Sebastian Granger, Riley Forest and Felicity Forest of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Brook Connon and Hunter Connon of Castor, Alberta; three great-grandchildren; brothers, Dennis of Punta Gorda, Fla., Kenneth (Nancy) of West Branch, Kevin (Karin) of Mio and Jerry (Gilda) of West Branch; sister, Lisa McLaughlin of West Branch; half-sister, Vivian McClain of Cape Coral, Fla.; many nieces and nephews; and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin and Eleanor McLaughlin; sister, Nancy McLaughlin; brothers, David McLaughlin, Ronald McLaughlin and Michael McLaughlin; sister, Linda McLaughlin; half-sister, Leatrice Lackie; niece, Michelle McLaughlin; and nephew, Joshua Irelan.

Her celebration of life will be April 13 at Ellie’s 12 Tables of Mio from 4-8 p.m. Join us to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, kiss your loved ones and hug them tight.


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