They named her Joyce Anne Lunde, but we called her Mother.
She was born Sept. 9, 1933, in Elroy, Wis., to Alice Irene Boldon and Justin Edward Lunde, the fourth of six children.
One by one, in order, the oldest three, Judith (Clifford) Clements, Norman (Rosemary) Lunde and Janet (William) Appel, preceded her in death. Her younger brother, Harold (Eva Jean) Lunde, and youngest sister, Nancy Lung, remain very special to us!
Joyce Anne married Elmer John Ritland March 27, 1952, while Elmer was stationed at Fort Ord Army Base in Salinas, Calif. They settled in Mauston, Wis., where they raised three children, Marian (Douglas Dobson) Ritland, John (Kathryn) Ritland and Jeanette (William) Hutschenreuter.
Mother was intelligent and lively. She graduated salutatorian from Elroy High School and teased that she would have done better, but she was lazy! She enjoyed challenges and multiple adventures throughout her life, like helping plan the construction of condominiums in Mauston, selling fine wildlife art and running her own small plant (and misc.) shop.
She and Dad loved to travel and once took a freight-liner across the ocean to Turkey. They had a funny story to tell when they came back home, of very rough ocean water and a “little old lady” who, on one occasion, was sent running at top speed, the result of a huge wave. Dad said thankfully the boat rocked back, the opposite direction, a moment before she would surely have hit the wall!
Mother also worked as a waitress, a telephone operator, a librarian and even ran for county treasurer on a dare! A shy wallflower she was not! She taught her children to stand up and speak out when necessary, and she was devoted to, and protective of her family, especially Elmer, the man she loved with all her heart. He called her “my girl.”
Elmer died of cancer Sept. 5, 2006. Joyce died July 25, 2018, of congestive heart failure. I suppose you can say that she died of a broken heart.
Joyce is survived by her three children, as well as two grandchildren, Andrea (Phillip) Simulis and Andrew (Lily) Ritland; five great-grandchildren, Alexander, William, Jacob and Kathryn Simulis, and little Abigail Ritland.
As her family, we want to express our deepest appreciation to Bethany St. Joseph Care Center, for providing her with years of loving care. When she first arrived at BSJ, she and registered nurse Tom Hegge became fast friends. Tom, you did so much to help her and your friendship really brought her happiness! Mother made many friends at BSJ and we wish we could thank you each by name. You shared with her occasions when you would have good news in your families, and she loved when you stopped by to talk. You helped take the pain away when she was hurting and you made her laugh. You polished up her room and fed her healthy meals. You brought her warm towels when she was aching and you actually made going to physical therapy fun! (She rode her stationary bike so many miles that she put us all to shame!) You patiently and lovingly provided our Mother with the best care ... and Dr. Momont, you were wonderful. Mother could be a complex challenge but you did so much for her. More than her doctor, you were her friend.
We thank each and every one of you at BSJ. You are a treasure and we will always be grateful for you.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 1, at the La Crosse Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2117 La Crosse St. Online guestbook is available at www.schumacher-kish.com.