Donna “Joy” O’Connor, age 56 of Monroe passed away Thursday, March 1, 2018 at ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehab, surrounded by family. She had been ill several months.
Born in Monroe, MI Joy attended Monroe High School class of 1979 and Michigan College of beauty. She was very creative, artistically talented and an avid painter. She preferred a nonconventional bohemian lifestyle that Kona, Hawaii offered where she resided more than a decade. She felt at home in the lush tropical climate and enjoyed the serenity of the ocean waves. While there, she successfully owned and managed a tavern and resided in what she referred to as “ the coffee shack.” She enjoyed consuming spirulina, picking Kona coffee beans and viewing the sunset on the horizon.
Upon her return to Monroe in 2007 to be with family, she resumed her position as bartender and server at the Little Brown Jug in Maybee, MI where she had been employed many years prior. A dog lover, she delighted in the three she had, Mickey, Minnie and Jack.
To cherish her memory, Joy leaves her son: Jason O’Connor of LaSalle; her mother: Betty (Durbin) Kerkenbush of LaSalle; her father: James (Angie) Stiffler of Maybee; stepfather Joseph (Karen) Durbin of Monroe; two sisters: Cindy (Timothy) Buell of LaSalle and Julie Gryzan of Grand Rapids; and two brothers: Rusty (Angie) Durbin of LaSalle and Jimmy Stiffler of Maybee; her grandmother: Wilma Chesney and many nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.
Friends may gather on Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 2:00 to 6PM at Merkle funeral home 14567 S. Dixie Hwy. A Celebration of life service will begin at 6PM with Pastor Mike Gilbert from Erie First Presbyterian Church officiating. Per Joys wishes, her body will be cremated and her ashes scattered off the Kona coast.
Online guests may leave words of comfort and inspiration, share a photo or send a floral arrangement by visiting www.merklefs.com.