By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Elizabeth Joyce Sassman 1934 - 2022
Elizabeth Joyce Sassman

SMITH CENTER — Elizabeth Joyce Sassmann died Dec. 30, 2022.  

She was born in Bessemer, Alabama on Sept. 7, 1934; daughter of Hugh Jackson Kimbrell and Helen Rose Pinter Kimbrell. Her parents came from large established families, but her mother was a Catholic and her father was son of a Baptist minister, and a descendant of General Stonewall Jackson.  Their marriage was considered inter-faith and taboo. So they were shunned by both their families; a real hardship during the Great Depression.  Joyce’s father was a resturanteur and the family lived in cities across the south like Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, Oak Ridge and finally Kansas City.  

Joyce married farmer Arthur Sassmann of Blackburn, Mo., who later owned Great Bend Ford Tractor. He sold it after health complications from a traffic accident, and it became Straub Implement, for whom he worked until his retirement. Joyce worked as Office Manager for JC Penney locations in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas and trained several store managers for the company. Retiring after 35 years with JC Penney, Joyce spent many happy years as a winter Texan in Mission. Kind, sincere and bright, Joyce was an avid reader and a lifelong fan of Gone With The Wind. She was a member of First Southern Baptist Church in Great Bend.

Joyce was proceeded in death by her parents; husband; and son Mark. She is survived by her brother, Bill Kimbrell and his two sons of Orange, California. Also by her son, author Steven Sassmann and wife, Mary, of Smith Center, Kan. And by her grandson, New York photographer Brian Sassmann and his wife, designer Stacey Tester from Brighton, England and their son, Rufus. To see Brian’s photo work, visit his website:

Service will be this spring, at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. 

Funeral arrangements provided by

All Faiths Funeral Chapel

113 S. Madison St.

Smith Center, KS 66967

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Jan. 22, 2023