Joyce Bestul Schrader

Joyce Bestul Schrader

  • Funeral Date: 5/09/15
  • Funeral Time: 10:30 a.m.
  • Date of Birth: 2/04/24
  • Date of Death: 4/23/15
  • Funeral Location: St. John's Lutheran Church, Northfield

Joyce Bestul Schrader passed away peacefully at the Northfield Retirement Community on April 23, 2015, at the age of 91. Joyce was born on February 4, 1924, in Edgemont, South Dakota. She was the daughter of Helmer Julius (“H.J.”) and Adele (Bakke) Bestul. At age 8, she moved with her parents from South Dakota to a farm in Northfield Township. She graduated from Northfield High School in 1941 and then attended St. Olaf College. On March 2, 1944, she married Eugene Schrader, and they purchased a farm five miles east of Northfield.

Joyce was actively involved in the family farm, with activities ranging from managing the finances to driving the tractor. Meanwhile, she raised five children and maintained a life-long commitment to the Northfield and Rice County communities. Joyce held numerous offices in the PTA during the 25 years that her children were in the Northfield Public Schools. She was appointed as a parent representative on several school board committees. A superb seamstress, Joyce served as 4-H sewing leader. She participated for years in Rice County Extension education groups. As a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church from the time of her arrival in Minnesota, Joyce was involved in the life of the church for more than three quarters of a century, serving on the Church Council and participating in the Martha/Claudia circle and WELCA.

Joyce may be best remembered as a tender, loving wife, mother, and grandmother. After her husband received an experimental heart valve in 1980, she was his untiring advocate and asked questions of his health care providers until she understood every one of his medications and treatments. Joyce actively encouraged her children’s education and love of music. Joyce also had a close relationship with each of her grandchildren. She taught many of them to make lefse and passed on a knowledge of foods and traditions from her Norwegian heritage.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Alden Bestul; and her husband of 70 years, Eugene Schrader, who died in September 2014. She is survived by five children: David (Sandra) Schrader of Sandwich, MA; Carol (David) Reitz of Edina; Duane (Nancy) Schrader of Louisville, KY; Lynn (Dennis) Doiron of Jacksonville, FL; and Gail (Mark) Brodersen of Minneapolis; by ten grandchildren: Sara Ignacio, Tami Schrader-Amelia, Karl and Eric Reitz, Hilary Sandberg, Cecily McChalicher, Leslie Clark, Laura Kwaak, and Teresa Rae and Andrew Brodersen; and by fourteen great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 9, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. Visitation will be at 4:00-7:00 pm on Friday, May 8, at the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield and at the church on Saturday 1 hour prior to the service. A private burial will be at Rolling Green Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be sent to St. John’s Radio Fund or an organization of the donor’s choice.

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