Conway Springs - Joyce E. (Riggs) Church, 89, of Conway Springs, died Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at Spring View Manor, Conway Springs, KS.
Joyce was born December 28, 1932 three miles North of Conway Springs, Kansas to William Farris Riggs and Vera (Olmstead) Riggs. She attended the Zephyr rural school before attending Conway Springs public schools. She graduated from Conway Springs High School with the class of 1950 and continued her education at Friends University. Joyce received her B.A. degree in education in 1954 and began teaching at El Dorado High School and Jr. College.
In 1955, Joyce moved to Long Beach, CA where she taught at David Star Jordan High School. She returned a year later to teach for the Wichita public schools teaching physical education at Plainview and Southeast High Schools.
In 1959, Joyce taught at Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. She returned to Wichita three years later and taught at Curtis Jr. High before teaching at Alameda High School in Lakewood CO.
Joyce met Avery Grenfell Church while in Colorado. The two were united in marriage on January 29, 1965 at Boulder, CO. The couple moved to Memphis, TN where Joyce taught for the Memphis School District before returning to Colorado a year later. Joyce taught at Longmont, CO for 4 years.
Joyce returned to Kansas and taught at nearby Chaparral High School. She taught at Creed, Colorado before receiving her Master's in Special Education from Texas Woman's University in Jacksboro, TX. She returned to Kansas in 1977 and taught special education in Conway Springs, Andale, Maize and Cheney for the Sedgwick County COOP. Joyce retired in 1995 after 41 years in education.
Joyce was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Wellington.
In her younger days, Joyce rode race horses. At the age of 14, she won her first purse horseracing at the Ted Yoakum Race Track in Wichita, Kansas. Joyce won races and competed in races in Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. A book entitled Bush Riders of Kansas and Oklahoma was published in 2010 that included her riding history. Joyce won her final race on Dwight Clum's horse Long Gone at the age of 29.
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Nelma Joan Henderson; two brothers: Farris Gene Riggs and Marion Lee (Curly) Riggs.
She is survived by many nieces and nephews and a number of other relatives and friends.
Graveside Services were held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 20, 2021 in Conway Springs Cemetery with Bishop Buck Balzer officiating. Interment followed in Conway Springs Cemetery. Arrangements were by Ebersole Mortuary, Conway Springs. On line condolences and guest book are available www.ebersolemortuary.com.
A memorial has been established to the Conway Springs Historical Museum.
Published on July 17, 2021