Obituary for Joyce Gill
M. Joyce Gill was born September 24, 1933, in Northfield, Minnesota to Lawrence and Alice (Torbenson) Gustafson. She was raised on a farm west of Dundas. At the of age 14, while attending a Big Star 4H meeting at the Ole Legvold farm, she met Bob Gill. The romance continued even with the Gustafson family’s move to Phoenix, AZ in 1950. Joyce returned to Northfield and graduated from Northfield High School in 1951. After high school, Joyce attended the Minnesota School of Business taking secretarial classes. Joyce was united in marriage to Bob on August 16, 1952, at St. John’s […]
M. Joyce Gill was born September 24, 1933, in Northfield, Minnesota to Lawrence and Alice (Torbenson) Gustafson. She was raised on a farm west of Dundas. At the of age 14, while attending a Big Star 4H meeting at the Ole Legvold farm, she met Bob Gill. The romance continued even with the Gustafson family’s move to Phoenix, AZ in 1950. Joyce returned to Northfield and graduated from Northfield High School in 1951. After high school, Joyce attended the Minnesota School of Business taking secretarial classes. Joyce was united in marriage to Bob on August 16, 1952, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. While Bob was serving in the Army, Joyce ran the farm along with her mother in law, Laura. She moved to Europe to be with Bob in 1955. After Bob’s honorable discharge, the couple returned to Northfield and she went to work at Community Bank in Northfield. She later worked for the Northfield News as a typesetter. The couple were blessed with four girls, Jeanine, Lori, Sandra, and Barbara. The couple ran Brookside Farms, 2 miles west of Northfield, on Old Dutch Road. It became a Century Farm in 1998. She was instrumental in the farm and went back to school at Faribault Vo Tech where she studied accounting. Joyce always brought out a hot meal to Bob while he worked in the field and would drive truck to the elevator. Joyce took a position at Production Credit Services in Faribault and later worked at St. Olaf College where she retired in the early ’90s.
Joyce dealt with Rheumatoid Arthritis which to many would make things difficult, but Joyce enjoyed working alongside Bob on the farm and providing for the girls. They were able to travel to many areas including Hawaii and Brazil and Europe through seed corn trips. She read the Star and Tribune religiously and did the crossword puzzle daily. Bob and Joyce spent 15 years in Fort Myers, Florida and 15 years in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Joyce was the kind of lady that would never say no. She was always well dressed, liked to look nice and enjoyed shopping. When the girls were young, Friday nights were their date night. They would go dancing and spend time at the Northfield County Club. She kept a journal that the family shared, and she wrote about the early days about meeting Bob and their dates. They enjoyed the lake life and spent many summer days at their cabin in Cross Lake. Joyce was very caring but had a strong personality. Their door was always open, and she enjoyed entertaining and hosting many gatherings. She enjoyed cooking and loved to eat fried coconut shrimp. She was a hard worker. She was involved in Eastern Star and served as Worthy Matron. She was the kind of lady that would put other people’s needs before her own. She was a great companion and as Bob said, “she knew me better than I knew myself.” Bob and Joyce had their farm auction in August of 2016 and later moved to Millstream Commons in Jan 2019.
Joyce passed away at the age of 86 on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at the Northfield Hospital with her family at her side. Joyce is survived by her husband of 67 years Robert of Northfield; four daughters Jeanine (Chris Williamson) Gill of Maple Grove, Lori (Paul) Guggemos of Northfield, Sandra (Tim) Thorpe of Cross Lake, Barbara (Mike) Breckenridge of Northfield; grandchildren Jayson (Amanda) Nelson, Cory Williamson, Kathryn Steigen, Elizabeth Breckenridge, Adeline Wager, Sharon Kilanowski, Sandra (Matt) Heiman, William Breckenridge, John (Claire Olsen)Breckenridge; great-grandchildren Ally, Emmy, Eva, Blake, Marie, Rebecca, River, Victoria, Quinton, and Isabella. Granddog, Bandit. Joyce is also survived by her siblings Robert Gustafson of Northfield, Mary (Jerry Shigley) Brodin of Northfield, Janet (Patrick) Ross of St. Joseph and a special extended daughter, who attended St. Olaf, Anne Shackelford Fish of San Angelo, TX. In addition, Joyce survived by many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at Bierman Funeral Home on Sunday, March 8, 2020, from 2:00 PM to 5:00
PM and one hour prior to the service in the church. Funeral Services will be at Northfield United
Methodist Church on Monday, March 9, 2020, beginning at 1:00 PM with the Reverend Rachel
McIver Morey officiating. Burial will be at Oaklawn Cemetery in Northfield. Arrangements by
Bierman Funeral Home and Crematory. biermanfuneralhome.com.