By Sevanny Campos / Delta Managing Editor
On April 15 the Missouri Valley College community said goodbye to Joyce Elaine Clause. She was a longtime member of the Viking community having worked at Missouri Valley College 42 years.
She died at age 79 at Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall.
Students will most likely remember Mrs. Clause as the kind woman on the second floor of Ferguson behind the desk in the registrar’s office, where most students received assistance with classes and transcripts.
She had an almost sing-song voice as she said hello in the mornings. She was very recognizable nearing always wearing colorful earrings, blouses and a bright lipstick.
To the students she was an employee at the school, a friendly hello and a beacon of positivity amongst the stressful atmosphere of a college. However she was much more to her family and friends. She was a wife, mother, friend, and a colleague.
She was was born Joyce Elaine Henshaw, in Denver Colorado, she was the daughter of William Nathan Henshaw and Florence Gronlund Henshaw Baker.
She, like many of the students at Missouri Valley would travel across the country before ending up in rural Missouri. Despite being born in Colorado she graduated from Gardena High School in Gardena, Calif.
In September 1958 she married Roy L. Clause, the love of her life. When asked her colleagues mentioned how often she described him as a great husband. They moved to Missouri and she was a Marshall residence since 1975.
She attended Missouri Valley College in 1975 as well and this led to her making Valley her long-time home. She was inducted into the MVC Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
Joyce Clause is survived by her husband as well as her three sons Steven Clause, Michael, Clause and Mark Clause. All three of her sons attended and graduated from Missouri Valley College. She proudly spoke about them often and all of their success following their graduations from Valley. Steven Clause is employed at Valley in the tech center.
Her funeral was on Saturday April 20, and was attended by several Valley alum and current students who felt the loss of Mrs. Clause. The service was officiated by Rev Pam Sebastian who remembers Mrs. Clause as a caring woman.
“Joyce was determined to take care of all of us she was so pleased when three new classrooms became available on the third floor of Ferguson and announced to me ‘I hate sending you all over campus for your classes now you only have to walk down the hall’,” Sebastian said of Clause.
While the rest of us may have only seen her in passing around the school, she was a staple in the registrar’s office and her absence will be most felt by her colleagues.
Registrar faculty athletic representative, Marsha Lashley worked with Mrs. Clause since 1983.
She and Mrs. Clause enjoyed a long friendship that lasted over 20 years. and one could see immense love that Lashley had for Joyce Clause when asked to say a few words about her.
Lashley described Mrs. Clause as a giver. Unsurprisingly, Mrs. Clause’s favorite holiday was Christmas. Lashley shared that Mrs. Clause often bought an abundance of gifts for her grandchildren and always had a personal gift for her colleagues in the office.
“I have never known anyone who loved to give gifts more than Joyce. She spent months shopping, always looking for that perfect gift for someone. I tried a time or two to tell her there was no need to buy us gifts that just sharing a meal together with enough but she just looked at me and smiled she gave and expected nothing in return.” Lashley said.
Mrs. Clause, was also very loyal to Missouri Valley College and its students. In fact students may remember her walking through the field during the football season because she loved to tailgate at the MVC football games.
As one may see when looking through the glass into the registrar’s office, ladies are constantly working. There is always a student in need of a schedule change or another task that only the women in the registrar’s office can help with. After news of her passing spread the to the community, Kelley Fuemmler posted on Facebook of an occurrence Where Mrs. Clause took extra time to help a student with their schedule, so the student could have time for lunch throughout the semester.
While her job just required the structure of a schedule she took the time to make sure the student was cared for.
“Any time I came into to her office while she was busy working and I would ask something, such as, ‘Are you busy?’ She would stop what she was doing flash me one of her smiles, respond something like: ‘No, what do you need?’, “ Associate professor of speech communication, Susan Dittmer said.
Students from Missouri Valley College come from all over the world, some have traveled thousands of miles some have traveled five miles.
Some come from broken homes but for all students a warm smile and just the question ‘How are you?’ make a student feel home.
That was a gift from one of the matriarchs of Missouri Valley College, Mrs. Clause was one of the many women who made the students feel at home. She made students feel like they mattered.
Her presence and smile and her caring and giving manner will be missed by the entire Valley community.
At her funeral service, Lashley was tasked to speak about her longtime friend and coworker, as she finished, she reminded and urged everyone to be a bit more like her friend.
“Lets try to be more like Joyce, “ she said, “Be giving, be caring, be loyal to your friends and family and have a smile. for everyone.”