Joanna Bush Kyles went to be with the Lord on November 17, 2017, at the too-early age of 37. As a close friend captured it best: Joanna was “rare, beautiful, and God’s magnificent and blossoming creation. May we all remember you just like this flower. Thank you for leaving us with the song of your laughter and the grace of your smile.”
Joanna was born May 1, 1980 in Bryan to Edward Harrison Bush, Jr., a hardware salesman and rancher, and Lorice Pinney, an administrative assistant at Texas A&M. The baby of the family, Joanna had big brothers Chris, Trae, and John. And while she was all sister, she had no problem hanging with her brothers. Early on, her contagious smile and compassionate heart brought joy to countless lives. She loved to sing and dance, so the theatre was a perfect fit. Her first musical performance at 12-years-old was in Peter Pan. She earned the starring role and drew crowds well beyond the intended audience. She became involved with the Theatre Company in Bryan, holding several lead roles over the years. She was a natural.
Joanna was not afraid of hard work, which paid off when she was able to graduate early from A&M Consolidated High School in 1998. From there she pursued her dream and went to New York City at 18-years-old. She received her Performing Arts Degree from the American Musical Dramatic Academy.
Joanna was a beautiful soul. She loved sharing life with people, and her family and friends loved sharing life with her. She literally radiated the light of Christ. She embodied the cliché that she never met a stranger. Her friendships spanned from New York to California. She maintained her close friendships in Bryan/College Station, through the years. She was included in a group of ladies who referred to themselves as the Ya-Ya’s who supported each other and even went on yearly retreats.
A single mom for several years to her beloved son Spencer Elliott Lammerts, she demonstrated to her friends the strength and courage it often takes to be a parent. Everything one ever reads about being a great, engaged parent, Joanna did with enthusiasm. She was fun and firm, silly and serious. She was a mommy and a friend. She didn’t just read books to him at night. She read them with voices and animation and action. Most importantly, she was able to make Jesus real to him in ways that he understood and communicated to others.
She also enjoyed a very close relationship with her father. You think she looks good in that wedding dress? She could put on a pair of old jeans and boots and shoot a shotgun with the best of them. She and her father, guns in hand, were at the ranch on opening day just about every dove season. And, when her father struggled with health issues, she was there caring for him and encouraging him back to health. This wasn’t a new thing for her. She had already cared for her grandfather Dandy in his final years.
Joanna worked as a project management coordinator for Freehold Communities in Austin. Her employers would agree that she was the type of person who came in and made herself an indispensable asset to wherever she worked.
She was an active member of Grace Covenant Church in Austin. Not surprisingly, she was involved in the children’s ministry at the church. She would perform skits to teach lessons to young children.
As if the above wouldn’t already entail a full life, she fell in love with the man of her life, Chad Kyles. They were married for a heartbreakingly short 50 days. It would be hard to find anyone who didn’t agree that she took on a brighter countenance after they met. Chad was ready to provide to her what she wanted the most – to be a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling Spencer and taking care of their home. Her brothers are deeply grateful for the love and kindness he obviously showed to her.
Joanna leaves behind many who will mourn her tragic loss: her husband Chad Kyles, her son Spencer Lammerts of Austin, her father Edward Harrison Bush, Jr., her mom and “bonus dad” Lorice and Roby Pinney of College Station, her mother and father-in-law Steve and Jan Kyles of Bryan, her brother and sister-in-law Chris and Mary Diamond of Houston, her brother and sister-in-law Trae and Amanda Bush of Houston, her brother and sister-in-law John and Cheryl Diamond of Houston, Her brother-in-law and sister-in-law Craig and Sonya Kyles of Bryan and her nieces and nephews, Cooper, Noah, Grace, Hannah, JP, Harrison, Caroline, Luke, Savannah, Jack, Evan and Cade, and step-brother Michael Pinney and a host of loving friends and coworkers. Last, but not least, she was survived by her 3-legged dog, Charlie. Her Life Celebration will be at 10:00 AM Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at the First Baptist Church of Bryan. Please share memories and view her life story at www.hillierfuneralhome.com.