The very definition of a Baby Boomer…the Riley family welcomed a bouncing baby girl three summers after the Japanese surrendered to end World War II. Born on 7/31/1948 Joyce came to the World in the usual way – to a typical American family outside of Arkansas City, Kansas on the border with Oklahoma. Fittingly, she was born in the heart of the United States…because eventually she would capture the hearts of millions of People around the world.
Her Father owned a pharmacy while her mother was a stay-at-home mom. She was the oldest of three children. If you knew Joyce you would probably know the one thing she liked more than being on the Power Hour was quilting. That love came honestly as she inherited from her Master Quiltsman Mother. Undoubtedly her father’s involvement in the medical community influenced her career decisions. The tragedy of her family came when one of her younger brothers died unexpectedly. It was a sore that in some ways tore at the emotional fabric of her family her entire life.
As a young woman she was determined to make some mark in the world. The tenacity we grew to love brought her all the way to the University of Kansas. “Rock, chalk, Jayhawk,” rolled off her tongue like it belonged. Her passion to help those who couldn’t always help themselves was embedded in her makeup. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and went far…in a wide range of nursing duties in the private sector.
Her expertise and willingness to serve landed her in the Air Force. Joyce became a Flight Nurse aboard C-130 missions in support of Operation Desert Storm. The kinship she felt with those in uniform is a lasting legacy. The experimentation she endured and witnessed changed her forever. A champion of the forgotten men and women of the Desert Storm era may be the badge of honor she cherished the most.
Before she would bring the plight of the Iraq War era soldier to the masses she took several important stands. And stands…and stands in the face of brutal scrutiny. While employed at Bexar County Hospital in San Antonio Joyce became involved in Nursing medical Malpractice issues after learning Nurse Genene Jones was responsible for the deaths of many children in the well-publicized “Baby Death” case. Until her health would no longer permit she was an expert witness for both plaintiff and defense medical cases. She has presented at the National Institutes of Health, and many legal conferences including the American trial Lawyers Association.
Her expertise and crucial voice lead her to the radio and well over 1500 radio guest appearances. From 1996-1999 with her husband Dave von Kleist, she travelled the country as an advocate for the American Gulf War Veterans Association. With Agent Orange reports, Miracle II Soap, and crucial info for veterans throughout the nation GulWarVets.com exploded in its effort to assist Vets in need. In the Spring of 2000 The Power Hour Radio Show landed on the GCN Network. With her exuberant husband by her side Joyce laid the path for the modern independent media movement. The Power Hour became synonymous with blowing the lid off of our less than honest reality. “It’s all about the Truth!”, “Doing the next, right and honorable thing,” “Knowledge is power!”, “Caring about your world,”were all well-deserved and well-used catch phrases.
With the tenacity of a bulldog, an unusual wit and a special midwestern charm Joyce endeared herself to a massive audience. The advent and success of the truth media can be traced directly to The Power Hour and the Nation of People who called it home. Her pursuit of natural treatments for her Cancer diagnosis will long be admired and used in coming generations. She is survived by an adoring body of listeners and advocates who have found the world a better place by having Joyce in it. So many owe so much to this giant in the communication world. Ever private with so much personal information it is proper now to note she has one brother and one son from an early marriage remaining.
The shadow is long and the path is well worn following the Voice of our Joyce. Whether quilting or twirling a baton or questioning the highest government bodies on the planet, Joyce Riley will forever be in our universe. The Power Hour Nation sleeps with heavy hearts this night as her mortal struggle is over and a new world has begun for her. It is easy to imagine her tracking down some unsuspecting former character who was responsible for so much suffering in this world and giving them a piece of her mind…that is in between twirling her baton again. Because if there is one thing we know…no army can stop an idea whose time has come and no one will ever forget Capt’n Joyce Riley.