Joyce Thoreson Photo 1

Joyce Dee Thoreson, 85

Joyce Dee Thoreson was born December 1, 1935 in Leadmine, Missouri to Vivian and Dee Bonner. Her parents divorced soon after she was born and left her in the care of her widowed paternal Grandfather, Ray Bonner, and his second wife, Clara, who  lovingly raised her. The family lived in Leadmine and Branch at different times during her life. They owned and operated the general store in Leadmine where they extended credit to many families to see them through the depression.

Joyce was an athlete, cheer leader, and scholar in her school years. In the days when one girl basketball player was designated to take all free throws, she made 28 out of 29 free throws in one game, 26 of them consecutively. Although she was a good student, she did not get any full scholarship offers, which she would have needed to go to college.

Joyce was the Dogwood Festival Queen in 1953.   Immediately after graduating high school, she went to work in the Camdenton office of public assistance as a secretary. She worked in the assessor’s office and was also the first registrar of voters.

Despite the fact that she had no college education, Joyce held several responsible positions in the Missouri State and Federal government. She was the Director of the Laclede County office of public assistance and the Director of State Quality Control for the Missouri State department of public assistance before retiring from Missouri state government. Following her marriage to Ron Thoreson in 1990, she relocated to California where she worked in the Food Stamp program for the US Department of Agriculture in San Francisco, receiving several awards for her outstanding service there. Following her retirement from the USDA, she and Ron relocated to Camdenton in January 1999 and resided at Old Kinderhook until 2019.

Joyce became an avid golfer when her sons took up the sport when the  Lake Valley Country Club was founded in the 1970s. She continued to play golf throughout her life. Her greatest joy in life came from her loving family and her many friends, to whom she was devoted.

Joyce was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Camdenton since her baptism in 1953. For many years, she was a member of the church choir and served on many committees.

She was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents. Her husband, Ron, survives her. She is also survived by Alan Phillips and Lori Dawn of Carefree,  Arizona; Dana Phillips and Louise Theis of Camdenton, Missouri; and Bruce and Karen Phillips of Camdenton, Missouri.  Six grandchildren also survive her - Ashley Schulte, Randi Fowler, Kasie Phillips, Cory Phillips, Jordan Hubert, and Faith Phillips and five great grandchildren – Noah Leiferman, Emma DaMitz, Kohen Fowler, Cable Hicks, and Charlotte Schulte.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:00 pm at Hedges-Scott Funeral Home in Camdenton, Missouri. Family will welcome friends for visitation from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm prior to services at the funeral home.

Interment will follow services at Hopewell Cemetery in Tunas, Missouri.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

Expressions of sympathy may be shared online at

Arrangements have been placed under the care of Hedges-Scott Funeral Home, Osage Beach, Missouri.

This article originally appeared on Lake Sun Leader: Joyce Dee Thoreson, 85