Pella Corp. Chair Emerita Mary Joan Kuyper Farver died Monday at her home in Pella, the company announced. She was 97.

"Joan was an inspiration to all who knew her and she was well-known as Pella Corporation's 'first lady,' " said Pella Corp. President and CEO Tim Yaggi. "She was a quiet leader whose philanthropic contributions have made a lasting impact on the community of Pella, Iowa, and many other communities and causes that will leave a lasting legacy for future generations."

She and her husband, the late Paul Farver, made their home in Pella, where they raised three children. In 1980, when her brother and company President and CEO Stu Kuyper died unexpectedly, Joan guided the company as it transitioned from family leadership to professional management leadership, following her father Pete Kuyper's death in 1981. 

Descendants of the Kuyper and Farver families maintain complete ownership of the privately held company. A website honoring Kuyper Farver's memory can be found at