Cover photo for Joyce Mae Kolka's Obituary
Joyce Mae Kolka Profile Photo

Joyce Mae Kolka

April 9, 1931 — January 26, 2021


Joyce Mae (Hoerl) Kolka, 89, of Grayling, MI went home to be with the Lord January 26, 2021.

She was born to Harry and Esther Hoerl on April 9, 1931 and spent most of her childhood in Allen Park, MI. In her sophomore year of high school, her parents moved up to Grayling, where she graduated. Her family was instrumental in forming Mount Hope Lutheran Church.

While attending Grayling High School, Joyce starred in the play, “Cannibal Queen,” put on by the drama/music education department. She also took voice lessons with Grayling independent music teacher, June Feldhauser, where talent scouts searched her out, offering to take her to New York to sing on the radio. The family declined due to their successful business making it too difficult to take on.

After high school graduation, Joyce was named to the Miss Grayling Queen’s Court where she was offered the chance to learn to fly an airplane because of her affiliation there. Although the ultimate decision was made not to do this, it still was an opportunity that she wouldn’t ever forget.

Shortly, after high school graduation, Joyce worked at the Mercy Hospital front desk, where she met James Kolka, whom she dated for about a year before they were married. Eventually, they had three children, Lynn, Nancy and Kurt.

Joyce worked for Avon; Mercy Hospital; Grayling State Bank (now Huntington); City of Grayling; Bear Archery Company; Ralph Hoffman, Optometrist, Grayling Chamber of Commerce; Grayling Township; and Saginaw Travel Agency during her working years. The latter allowed her and Jim to travel to Europe and Hawaii.

Joyce and Jim were charter members of the Lioness and Lions clubs in Grayling.

She had the gift of hospitality. Joyce often invited friends and family over for a meal of her famous spaghetti.

Joyce and Jim spent winters in the warmth of Punta Gorda, FL after they retired. She enjoyed golfing, gardening, crossword puzzles and watching the Detroit Tigers play on TV.

Throughout her life, Joyce was very active at Mount Hope Lutheran Church where her children were also baptized. She served on Altar Guild, various boards including Board of Evangelism, Church Council, helped with Vacation Bible School and concerts.

Also, she loved concerts, especially local talent. She loved to go out to eat at Dawson Stevens and then go to the concerts at the AuSable Artisan Village. Joyce always patronized local businesses before going out of town or ordering from big box stores. She was all about community from her purchases to collecting used glasses and ink cartridges for the Lions Club to use to give back to the community.

Joyce was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Jim; her parents, Harry and Esther Hoerl; her sister, Shirley Linendoll.

She is survived by her three children Lynn (Bill) Richmond, Nancy (Jim) Hatfield and Kurt (Diane) Kolka; along with five grandchildren: Heather Hatfield-Malone, Annette (Curt) Iffrig, Travis (Shantina) Hatfield, Jacob Morris, Rebekah Kolka and two great-grandchildren, Sophia and Emily Hatfield.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday June 12, 2021 at 11:00 am, visitation before starting at 10:00 am at Mt. Hope Lutheran Church in Grayling, MI, with Reverend William Winter officiating. Internment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery. A luncheon will follow back at Mt. Hope following internment. Memorial Contributions can be made in memory of Joyce to Mt. Hope Lutheran Church and Grayling Lions Club.

Arrangements entrusted to Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joyce Mae Kolka, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 12, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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*Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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