Marva Joyce Fleener (nee Briney) was born to Alice Elanor (nee Rosenfelt) and Vernon Everett Briney in Rapid City, S.D., June 13, 1937.
She grew up on the Rathdrum Prairie of Idaho with her mother and her oldest sister, Nyla June, picking cherries at her family’s orchard while her father was away from home building highways throughout the Midwestern states. In her youth, she was active in 4-H and dreamed about one day being a nurse.
Joyce married Loyal Ivan Fleener, whom she met in 1955. The couple moved to their first home in Worley, Idaho, before relocating to Moscow in 1959 following the purchase of an old homestead property on Estes Road from pioneer Burt Ayer. They had three sons and adopted a daughter from Korea via Holt International. They were active with the Assembly of God Church in Moscow. Her siblings, Skip and Kathy, lived with her during their high school years. Loyal and Joyce divorced in 1986.
Over the course of her days, Joyce was a farm wife, a Sunday school teacher, a tax preparer, the family medic, a noted water witch, and was an early advocate for youth dyslexia support in the Moscow School District. She served nearly four decades with the Moscow H&R Block office in many roles, including as the Moscow office manager and later as the quality control officer for the Quad Cities franchise offices until her retirement.
Joyce was happiest at her farmhouse, having a lifelong passion for gardening, canning her own produce, baking and cooking meals for family and friends. Joyce loved science fiction and fantasy stories, crafting and dabbling with lepidoptery. Family gatherings always featured Joyce’s pies, and at Christmas, her delicious cinnamon rolls. A member of the Estes Club, Joyce joined at the invitation of her sister-in-law in the same year she moved to Moscow and looked forward to meeting with “the Estes Club ladies” until her health declined.
Joyce smiled with her eyes and was an avid “hug collector,” ensuring she consistently got a hug from all friends, family, and anyone else who was willing to “donate a hug to the little old lady wearing purple.”
Joyce passed away peacefully in her sleep Thursday, April 29, 2021, from respiratory failure. She was preceded by her parents, older sister and daughter (Juanita Kay Fleener). She is survived by her baby brother, John “Skip” Briney; youngest sister Kathy Huffman; sons Craig (Carol), Timothy (Shelley), Phillip (Connie) and Dustin (Jessica) Fleener; grandchildren Shannen (Fred) Kilborn, Shayne (Jami) Dean, Christy Fleener, Zac (Nicole) Fleener, Trevor Pierce and Cortney Preston; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A graveside service will be held at the Moscow Cemetery for Joyce at 11 a.m. Friday with a gathering for friends and family at the Viola Community Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Joyce’s name to the Moscow 4-H Club or the Moscow High School Future Farmers of America chapter.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel in Moscow and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.