Joyce Elaine Westerman (Hill) died on Monday, January 18th, 2021 at home with her family by her side.
Joyce was born on December 29th, 1925 to Cecil Ludlow and Lillian Victoria (Clausen) Hill and was raised on a farm in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She attended local schools and graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1943. Joyce married Raymond Arnold Westerman on December 2nd, 1950 and built their first home together before starting their family in Kenosha. She received great joy and fulfilment from her two children, Janet and Judy, and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was active as a 4-H leader for 14 years, president of the 4-H leadership council for two years, active in Home and Community Education (HCE) since 1956 and President of the Executive Board for HCE. Joyce was a long-standing member of the First Congregational Church and most recently a member of the Lord of Life Lutheran Church.
Joyce played professionally with the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) from 1945 – 1952, and continued to support the association throughout her life. She started her baseball career as a catcher with the Grand Rapids Chicks, going on to play for the Peoria Redwings, and the Racine Belles. She played first base with the South Bend Blue Sox the last few years and won a championship. Following her professional baseball career, she continued her love of the game by playing in the local city and county softball leagues. She also worked for the United States Postal Service and American Motors.
In 1988, Joyce and all the other players of the AAGPBL were recognized in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In 1991, the league was honored in the movie, “A League of Their Own”. Joyce participated in the movie along with forty-eight other original AAGPBL
baseball players. Other awards and honors bestowed upon Joyce included being inducted into the Old Timers Baseball Association of Chicago in 2000, the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Milwaukee Brewer’s Wall of Fame. In 2011, Bob Kahn wrote and published a biography about Joyce’s life called, “Baseball Hero: Joyce Westerman”. In addition, Joyce was the assistant coach of Women’s Softball at Carthage College for four years, coached softball in Milwaukee for six years and was a strong supporter of all high school and college athletics.
Joyce is survived by her daughters: Janet Vanderford (Albuquerque, NM) and Judy (Danny) Vanderford (Kenosha, WI). She is also survived by 8 grandchildren: Kier Lewis, Tanner Vanderford, Tracy Sunday, Teagen Stewart, Heather Montey, Courtney Cotter, Aric Vanderford, and Jodi Vanderford) and 5 great grandchildren: Sierra Lewis, Ayden Lewis, Copeland Stewart, Kenzie Montey, and Anarrah Stewart and many other loving family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Ray, her sisters Marguerite (Robert) Mahoney, Lorraine (Walter) Christensen, and Evelyn (Robert) Schaffer and her brothers: Wallace Hill, Cecil (Beverly) Hill, Richard (Ethel) Hill, and George (Nancy) Hill.
Funeral services for Joyce will be on Saturday January 30th, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. at Great Lakes Church (7600-75th Street, Suite 220, Kenosha WI 53142). Visitation with the family will be on Saturday January 30th, 2021 at the church from 9:00 A.M. until the time of service. Burial will follow the service and will be private.
To honor Joyce, the family asks that you attire yourself in your favorite Green Bay Packers clothing.
Casey Family Options Funerals and Cremations
Stephen P. Casey, Owner/Funeral Director
3016-75th Street Kenosha WI