Cover photo for Dorothy "Joan" (Sheffield) Cary's Obituary
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Dorothy "Joan" (Sheffield) Cary

May 13, 1931 — January 14, 2024

Battle Creek

Dorothy "Joan" (Sheffield) Cary

Dorothy “Joan” Cary, 92, passed into the presence of her Savior January 14, 2024. Joan was born in Hickory Corners, Michigan to Lloyd and Lorene Sheffield on May 13, 1931.

Joan graduated from Kellogg Agricultural High School (Gull Lake) in 1949, attended Moody Bible Institute, and married Norman K. Cary on August 16, 1952.

Joan worked at Barry Co. Telephone Company and then later as a noon-hour supervisor at North Pennfield Elementary. She will be remembered as a faithful wife, wonderful mom, and fun grandma. In the early years of marriage, the Cary’s (Mr. & Mrs. C) were determined to work with youth and do whatever they could to encourage them in their walk with Jesus Christ. To that end, Mrs. C made countless batches of chocolate chip cookies for youth events and picked up kids and teens for youth group, Sunday School and many trips to camps in northern Michigan and New York. There was always room for one more in the family car if it meant they would be able to get to Word of Life Club, Olympians, or a church sponsored event. While Mr. C was busy mentoring the boys in God’s Word, Mrs. C was working with the girls, and for many years their home was filled with teens every Sunday afternoon as they memorized verses, studied the Bible, read Christian books, and encouraged each other in their journey with Jesus.  In addition to working with the teens, Joan was also church treasurer for many years at Bedford Bible Church and Heritage Hills Bible Church. In her later years, she attended Calvary Baptist Church.

Joan enjoyed her flower gardens, the birds at her feeders in all seasons, sewing, and knitting. Along with others, she made quilts for many students as they left to attend Word of Life Bible Institute and various other Christian colleges. After becoming home bound, she knitted hundreds of washcloths to be included in shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

She is survived by her children, Stephen (Connie) Cary, Marcia (Matt) Ellison, and Esther (David) Rudd, nine grandchildren & eleven great-grandchildren, a sister, Sandra (Duane)Tack, and two brothers-in-law, Bob Russell and Albert Cary. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, siblings, Gordon Sheffield, Lloyd George Sheffield, and Jane Russell and a sister-in-law, Doris Cary.

A special thank you to StoneRidge Assisted Living and Gentiva Hospice for their love and care for Joan.

Friends will be received 3:00-5:00 p.m. Sunday, January 21, 2024, at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care. Services to honor Joan’s memory will be held Monday, January 22, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, Battle Creek, with internment to follow at Pennfield Hicks Cemetery. The service will be Live-streamed and may be viewed by visiting   

Gifts in Joan’s memory are suggested to: BBN Radio, PO Box 7300, Charlotte, NC 28241, or Camp Scholarship Fund, c/o Heritage Hills Bible Church, 13015 S. M66 Hwy, Bellevue, MI 49021. Personal messages for the family may be placed at

Past Services


Sunday, January 21, 2024

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care

105 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017

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Funeral Service

Monday, January 22, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Monday, January 22, 2024

Hicks Cemetery (Pennfield Township)

21761 M-66, Battle Creek, MI 49014

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