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MASON CITY - Joyce Van Tassel Neff Hunt, 74, of 152 Brook Terrace, died unexpectedly Tuesday (March 20, 2001) at St. Marys Hospital, Rochester, Minn., from heart failure.

A celebration service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. John's Episcopal Church, 120 First St. N.E., Mason City, with the Rev. Robert Elfvin of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Des Moines, officiating. Inurnment will be in St. John's Episcopal Church Columbarium, Mason City.

There will be no visitation.

Memorials may be directed to St. John's Episcopal Church Kitchen Fund or Hospice of North Iowa.

Her ministries in life included: nursing, counseling, Christian Education, Cursillio, Order of Saint Luke's, Acolyte and Lay Eucharistic Minister, mothering, grandmothering and mentoring. She also served on the OK House board, Monroe Troop-Girl Scout leader and the Cerro Gordo County Medical Alliance. As parish nurse of Saint John's Episcopal Church, Joyce was instrumental in establishing a program to advocate for those in any kind of need or illness and guiding them to services and programs in the community.

Her hobbies included gardening, Toastmasters International, golf, knitting, sewing, aquacise, quilting, painting and watching her eight grandsons.

Joyce was born May 19, 1926, in Warren, Pa., as Joyce Fern Van Tassel to Lloyd Alfred Van Tassel and Lenora Elizabeth Hunt Van Tassel.

After registered nurse's training during World War II, she met and married William John Neff of Erie, Pa., on Dec. 8, 1947. She and Bill moved to Mason City in 1957, and raised their family until 1977. They moved to Des Moines and Joyce worked for the Department of Social Services, inspecting nursing homes for quality care. Bill Neff died in 1983. She lived in Des Moines and was a member of Saint Luke's Episcopal Church for more than 10 years until she married Van W. Hunt, M.D., of Mason City on Sept. 17, 1988.

Joyce is survived by her husband, Dr. Van W. Hunt; his sons, Carl and Alan Hunt and their families; her brothers, Fred Van Tassel of Raleigh, N.C., and Ted Van Tassel of Olive Branch, Miss., and their families; and her sister, Gretchen Van Tassel of Warren, Pa., and her family. She is also survived by her own children, Bill Neff Jr. of Arcata, Calif., Kirk Neff of Mason City, Gretchen Neff and her family, Ron Rowcotsky, Ronnie, David and Mickey Rowcotsky of Aurora, Colo., Nora Neff Hardy and her family, Dan Hardy, Tom and Nathan Hardy of Mason City, Dean Neff and his family, Laurie Neff, Luke, Paul and Ian Neff of Las Cruces, N.M.

She was devoted to taking care of God's children throughout her life. Her home was a gathering place for her own and many "adopted" children. Joyce leaves behind a legacy of service with her children and the parishioners of Saint John's.

Major Erickson Funeral Home & Crematory, 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Mason City, is in charge of the arrangements, (641) 423-0924.

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