Joyce was born Sept. 5, 1942 at the Pokegama Hospital in Pine County, Minnesota, the only child of Wallace and Pearl (Nelson) Olson. She was baptized and confirmed at the Grace Lutheran Church in Mora. Joyce attended Mora Schools, graduating from Mora High School in 1960. She went on to attend St. Cloud State University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Education and Art in 1963. For the next 10 years, Joyce taught business classes and Art in Browerville, Minn., Somerset, Wis., and Braham, Minn. She continued going to college and earned 55 credits toward her graduate degree.
On July 29, 1967, Joyce was united in marriage to James F. Kays at the Grace Lutheran Church in Mora. To this union three daughters were born; Jacque, Jodi, and Jolene. Joyce continued to work, first as a manager for Tupperware home parties for 10 years, and then as the Administrative Assistant for the Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church in Braham for 17 years. Joyce worked for a short time at the Mora Chiropractic Center before retiring to spend more time caring for her granddaughters. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, and cousin Rodney Nelson.
She is survived by her husband James; daughters Jolene (Kevin) Wojahn of Milaca, Jodi (Jonathan) Hackler of Stanchfield, and Jacque (Gordon) Nordby of Braham; son-in-law Chad Anderson of Stanchfield; grandchildren Sydney and Lilly Anderson; Molly, Emily, and Olivia Hackler; Taylor and Andi Nordby; cousins Darlene (Charles) Kientop of Polaski, Wis., Eugene Gordhamer of Staples, Larry (Carol) Gordhamer of Ogilvie, Betty Jo (James) Williams of Cambridge, and Rollin (Joanne) Nelson of Mora; many other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Service was held Saturday, October 20, 2012 at the Braham Ev. Lutheran Church with Rev. Rich Chronis officiating. Music was provided by Ruth Grundyson and Rev. Julie Beck. Urn Bearers were Sandy Burnham, Jean Hawkins, Judy Leinonen, and Julie Stromberg. Inurnment was in the Oakwood Cemetery of Mora. Arrangements were by the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham.