Joy Ann Lefmann Scheunemann, age 90, of Olathe, Kansas, formerly of Spring Hill, Kansas, passed away on January 8, 2023, in Olathe, Kansas.
Joy was born in Lawrence, Kansas to Phillip and Mabel Lefmann on October 30, 1932. She was raised on a farm that was homesteaded by her grandparents, in a close-knit German community known as Captain’s Creek, southeast of Eudora. She attended the country schools of Pleasant Valley and Hopewell, one-room schoolhouses with wood burning stoves. As a girl, Joy helped her mom prepare large meals for threshing crews who assisted her dad in harvesting wheat and oats during the summer months. Joy grew up surrounded by a large extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins which contributed to her life-long love of hosting family dinners. Joy knew from an early age that she wanted to become a nurse. She worked at the old Gardner Hospital as a nurse’s aide in high school. She graduated from Baldwin High School in 1950 and entered Saint Luke’s School of Nursing later that year. In 1953, Joy graduated from nursing school and started her career as a Registered Nurse at Saint Luke’s Hospital. That same year, she married the love of her life, Ulrich Scheunemann, a handsome and recent immigrant from Germany. Over the next seven years, they welcomed three daughters to their family. In 1960, Joy and Ulrich bought a farm near Spring Hill, Kansas which they lovingly owned for 55 years. They were married for 65 years and were so blessed to have traveled their life journeys together for such a long time. Joy and Ulrich enjoyed making many trips to Germany to visit relatives. Joy worked as a school nurse for Spring Hill schools for many years and worked in doctors’ offices until her retirement. Joy lived a busy life, raising beef cattle with Ulrich, gardening, canning, baking, quilting, and volunteering. She was the family genealogist and researched and wrote books on The Captain’s Creek Community, the Lefmann family, Scheurer family and Scheunemann family history. She also wrote Ulrich’s moving story of his life in Germany and his experiences in World War II. Joy did not know a stranger. She loved to call her family and friends and many will miss her regular phone calls, checking in on them. One of Joy’s nephews, Juergen Scheunemann, described her as “truly living up to the promise of her very name.” She always had a positive attitude and saw the bright side of any situation. A devout Christian, Joy was a member of the Spring Hill United Methodist Church. She was a member of the Morning Grange for many years. In December 2015, Ulrich and Joy moved to Cedar Lake Village in Olathe, Kansas where she embraced a new chapter in her life, filled with many activities with old and new friends. Joy leaves behind to cherish her memory her daughters, Brenda Brewer (David), Karen Cottengim, Lisa Irish (Ken), a grandson, Ryan Brewer, honorary daughter, Tina Brewer, three step-grandchildren, seven step-great-grandchildren, two stepgreat, great-grandsons, her sister, Jean Withrow (Ken), brother, JP Lefmann (Gloria), brother, Gerald Lefmann (Diana), and sisters-in-law, Erika Scheunemann and Heide Scheunemann, of Germany, and Lesley Scheunemann, of Seattle, WA, along with many cousins, nephews and nieces throughout the United States and Germany, special friends, Julie and Jeff Kearns, and her many friends at Cedar Lake Village. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ulrich, two infant children, Bruce and Martha, her parents, Phillip and Mabel Lefmann, and son-inlaw, Mike Cottengim. Joy’s family wishes to thank Dr. James Sebghati and his staff, Dr. David Lee and his staff, and the Olathe Hospice nurses for the kind, attentive care they provided Joy. A Celebration of Life service will be scheduled at a future date in the spring. Donations can be made to Olathe Hospice or the charity of your choice.