Joyce H. Atchison


Dr. Joyce H. Atchison, 93, of Rossville, Ill., passed away at 4:10 a.m. July 16, 2019, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill.
She was born October 7, 1925, in La Crosse, Wis., to Willard H. and Helen (Scholl) Howard. They preceded her in death along with her only brother, Richard "Dick" Howard.
She married Gerald W. Atchison on June 22, 1946, in Danville, Ill. He also preceded her in death on November 26, 1989. They raised three children, whom Joyce considered her greatest accomplishment.
Joyce leaves behind her children, Gail Martin of Kennedale, Texas, Mike (Brenna) Atchison of Danville, and Bill Atchison of Rossville; five grandchildren, Joe (Amanda) Martin, Jason (Pam) Martin, Anthony Atchison, and Kasey Atchison, all of Texas, and Erin Atchison (Justin) Kane of New York; three great-grandchildren, Emma, Henry and Olivia. She also leaves behind two special friends who helped care for her in her final year, Judy and Elizabeth.
Joyce's greatest passion in her life was her career in nursing and nursing education. She graduated from Lakeview Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. Later she graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a BA, a BSN in 1981 from Governors State University, and an MSN from Governors State University in 1983. She went on to earn her PhD from Indiana State University in 1996 at the age of 71.
She began her nursing career at Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., and later moved to Rossville. She worked at Lakeview Memorial Hospital in Danville as a staff nurse and assistant head nurse. She later taught at Danville Area Community College in the Practical Nursing Program for 17 years.
In 1984, she returned to Lakeview School of Nursing as an instructor. She, along with other faculty and staff, were instrumental in developing a baccalaureate nursing program to replace the diploma program. At the time of her retirement in 1999, she was serving as vice president and dean of Lakeview College of Nursing.
Joyce was a member of the United Methodist Church in Rossville since 1950 and served at the Parish Nursing for several years after her retirement. She served on several area boards, including Rossville Community Ambulance Board, Crosspoint Human Services Board, CRIS Senior Services Board and State of Illinois Council Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs in Nursing.
Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Danville, 3940 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61834, has been entrusted with arrangements. Per Joyce's wishes, cremation rites have been accorded and a memorial service will be scheduled at a later date for family and friends.
Memorial donations may be made in Joyce's name to the Lakeview College of Nursing Alumni Scholarship Fund. Please join Joyce's family in sharing memories, photos and videos on her Tribute Wall at
To plant a tree in memory of Joyce H. Atchison, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on July 19, 2019
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4 posts

sue good
Jul 27, 2019
She was an example for how everyone should live their life. She especially showed women they were capable ,strong and able to make it on their own if need be. She built people up and took the time to reach out and help others and was dedicated to them.The world needs so many more Joyce Atchison's in the world , but sadly there was only one. We must all carry the torch she held that shined so brightly and try to live by the examples of love,caring,concerned,compassion,determination,thoughtfulness and kindness she left with others along her way.
Karen Gossett/Warf
Jul 21, 2019
I knew Joyce as a young woman. I was always impressed by her humility and love for her family. She is what we all should strive to be. Class act!
Linda Curtis
Jul 20, 2019
Sending blessings to Joyce's families. I know she will be missed.
I have fond memories of Joyce. She was my instructor in LPN school. She was so engaging, intelligent, and witty. And, she was so beautiful. A lovely combination. She looked like Betsy Palmer.. so my classmates said.
Rebecca Gan Menew
Jul 19, 2019
So sad that she has passed There will never be another person like her. All the nursing students loved her. A great teacher and humanitarian. Prayers to the family. I deeply saddened