Cover photo for Melba "Joy" Dysart's Obituary
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1941 Melba "Joy" Dysart 2024

Melba "Joy" Dysart

May 15, 1941 — March 6, 2024

Lee's Summit, Missouri

Melba “Joy” Dysart, 82, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed away March 6th 2024, at Sunrise of Leawood in Leawood, KS under the loving care of Harbor Hospice of Kansas. Joy was born May 15th 1941 in Ironton, MO to Woodrow and Dortha (Walker) Thomas, who preceded her in death. Joy lived with her family in Fredericktown, MO, and later Farmington, MO. The family eventually moved to Sullivan, MO, where Joy graduated from Sullivan High School in 1959. Joy also attended classes at Flat River Junior College, where she met her future mother-in-law, who introduced her to her first husband, Robert “Bob” Nothdurft. Joy and Bob were married from 1961 to 1986 and had two children, a daughter, Sally, born in 1963, and a son, Tom, born in 1965. The family moved to Kirksville, MO, from Rolla, MO, in 1967. Joy attended Northeast Missouri State College and obtained her Bachelor of Science in education in 1971. She then began teaching Kindergarten in Brashear, MO from 1971 to 1977.  After this, Joy turned her attention to becoming involved in Head Start in Kirksville and the surrounding area.  Joy obtained her Master of Arts from Northeast Missouri State University in 1980. Joy and Bob were very active members of the square-dancing community, leading Joy to open a small retail store, Joy’s Shoppe, in downtown Kirksville, specializing in square dancing attire. Following her divorce from Bob, Joy moved to Raytown, MO. She taught elementary school classes at Englewood Christian Academy in Independence, MO. Joy remained involved in square dancing after moving to Raytown, where she met her second husband, Charles R. Dysart. Joy and Charles were married in 1989. Joy retired from teaching shortly after her marriage to Charles. She continued to pursue her love of teaching by helping adults learn how to read. Joy and Charles were also members of the Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church, The Summit. Joy and Charles played a heavily active roll in raising Joy’s granddaughter, Miranda “Randi” Pope, throughout her early childhood. Joy loved spending time with all of hers and Charles’ grandchildren. Joy was preceded in death by her parents, as well as an infant sister, Joy Thomas, and her husband, Charles R. Dysart. Joy is survived by her daughter, Sally A (Nothdurft) Meyer (husband David), son, Thomas R Nothdurft (wife Jennifer), step-children, Cary R Dysart (wife Betsy), and Jerry D Dysart, grandchildren, Miranda N Pope, Matthew R Nothdurft, Andrew T Nothdurft, step-grandchildren, Thomas A McGregor, Anna R Dysart, Katelyn R Dysart, great-step-grandchild, Coralynn McGregor, sister, Martha Jane (Thomas) Richards (husband Michael), nieces, Debra E (Richards) Davis, Mary K (Richards) Hamblin (husband John), nephews, Christopher M Richards (wife Shelley), Curtis M Richards (wife Jennifer), Thomas “Clay” Richards (wife Christine), and many great nieces and nephews. Fond memories and condolences for the family may be offered at  A celebration of life service will be held at The Summit Church in Lee’s Summit, MO in May, details at  In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Heart Association, or your local Hospice services.


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