Joyce Darlene Gross was born April 20, 1941 in Freeman, SD to David P. and Anna K. (Wipf) Gross. She died December 19, 2018 at the age of 77 years, after a short battle with cancer. She attended rural grade school District 54 through the 8th grade, and graduated from Freeman Academy in 1959. She attended Freeman Junior College for one year.
She accepted Christ as her personal savior while attending Bible school, and she was baptized in August, 1958. She was a lifelong member of Salem K.M.B. Church (which later became known as Salem M.B. Church). In her early years, she was active with the church youth group, sang in the choir, and participated in the Women’s Ministry.
In addition to helping Mom and Dad at home on the farm, her working career later included babysitting for a number of different families, and helping with child care for the mothers attending Christian Women’s and bible study groups. She spent six months doing secretarial work for the ASCS office in Parkston. Shortly after the Freeman Cornerstone restaurant opened, she worked in the kitchen, preparing food for the buffet, while at the same time working part-time for the Woodbridge Candle Factory in Freeman. Wayne Hoffman, owner of the candle factory, encouraged Joyce to apply for a position in the dietary department of what is now Freeman Regional Health Services, and to use the skills she learned while working at the Cornerstone. For a period of time, she worked all three jobs part-time, culminating with a full-time position at Freeman Regional. She spent 13 years with Woodbridge Candle and 28 years with Freeman Regional, before retiring in December of 2017. Joyce was a hard worker and very committed to doing her job well whatever it was. Whenever a colleague needed a day off, Joyce willingly stepped in to take her place.
Joyce leaves to mourn her passing her only sibling Norman (LeAnne) of Roanoke, IL; two nephews, Jerod (Laura) of Roanoke, IL and Jason (Kristin) of Addison, IL; six grandnieces and grandnephews, Scott, Lea, Molly, Max, Aaron and Abigail, one remaining aunt, Ardella Gross of Freeman, an extended family of cousins, and many friends and co-workers.