May 10, 2018

Joyce Huibregtse Kuyper, a quiet but important figure in the musical life of Pella, Iowa, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2018, at her home in The Cottages in Pella.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name may be contributed to this scholarship fund at Central College, or to the Church Music Fund at Second Reformed Church.

Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Second Reformed Church in Pella. Visitation will follow the memorial service on Saturday at the Second Reformed Church. Van Dyk-Duven Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

She was born on Sept. 30, 1917, to the Rev. Edward and Johanna Huibregtse in Eddyville, Iowa, the second of five children. The Rev. Huibregtse subsequently moved with his family to pastorates in New Sharon, Iowa, and Byron Center, Michigan, before moving to Prairie City, Iowa, where Joyce attended high school. An excellent pianist even at an early age, Joyce accompanied church singing at her father’s churches throughout high-school and college years.

Joyce was a music major at Central College in Pella, specializing in piano and voice, and graduated cum laude in 1939. She taught music and English for two years in the Monroe (Iowa) Public Schools before her marriage to Henry Hospers “Hops” Kuyper in 1941. Throughout her active life, Joyce served as organist and pianist for several churches and for many vocal and instrumental soloists in the Pella area. She was also the regular pianist in the jazz band established by her husband.

A composer of some significance, Joyce’s composition “A Hymn to Central Youth” was chosen to be, and remains, the official hymn of Central College. She composed several celebratory pieces for special occasions and conferences, but perhaps her most lasting contribution is the group of hundreds of piano students whom she taught throughout her life, always while maintaining an active household. She continued teaching piano lessons to just a few students until shortly before her death.

As an active member of the Second Reformed Church in Pella, Joyce was always a participant in the music program as an organist and choir member. She was elected to positions of both elder and deacon, and served on many church functions and committees.

Joyce Kuyper was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Ruth, her brothers Edward and Kenneth, and her son-in-law Bill Galbreath. She is survived by one sister, Ellen Severin; her children and their spouses, J. Quentin Kuyper and Linda Banister, R. Ellen Kuyper Galbreath, Susan Kuyper and Thomas Stanley, and Lois Kuyper-Rushing and Steve Rushing; three grandsons, Anthony Rushing, Johnson Stanley, and Bennett Stanley; one granddaughter, Johanna Rushing Feamster; and five great-grandchildren.

After Hops’ retirement, the couple travelled extensively, and were able to visit Hong Kong and China several times, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Singapore and the Netherlands, as well as many destinations within the United States, often incorporating visits with their far-flung family into the trips.

In 1973, Joyce and Hospers Kuyper were named Alumni of the Year by Central College, and cited for their many musical and other contributions to the College. In 2012 the Joyce and Hospers Kuyper Music Scholarship was established.