Merdink, Joyce Helen (Nelson) (1925-2009)

Joyce Merdink, 84, of Stephen, MN, passed away at home July 25, 2009, with her loved ones by her side. Joyce battled pancreatic cancer for the past six months.

Joyce Helen Nelson was born on February 4, 1925, to Albert and LeOra (Beebee) Nelson. She grew up on the family farm in Wanger Township east, of Stephen, attended Prairie View country school through the 8th grade and graduated from Stephen High School in 1943. She received a degree from Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis and returned to Stephen to work as the secretary at the Stephen Implement and later as a teller at the Farmers State Bank.

On December 11, 1949, she married Allan Merdink. They resided in Stephen their entire lives, farming land in Donnelly Township, northwest of town. Allan passed away on January 19, 2004.

Joyce stayed at home to raise their family for several years, eventually returning to the business scene as a part-time secretary in the Stephen office of attorneys Myhre and Saetre. In 1970 she rejoined the tellers at the Farmers State Bank where she worked until her retirement in 1987.

Joyce was baptized and confirmed in the First Lutheran Church where she was a lifetime member. Joyce held various offices on the church council, the WELCA (Ladies Aid), and Circles over the years. She greatly enjoyed working with the church quilting ladies making quilts for Lutheran World Relief. In her spare time, Joyce enjoyed sewing, woodworking, gardening, playing cards and dominoes, and watching her favorite game shows on TV. She was a wonderful cook and baker. Although she enjoyed travelling to visit family and other sights of interest, she was happiest when she returned to her beloved Marshall County.

Joyce is survived by her children: Barbara (Tim) Janey, Waite Park, MN, James, Exton, PA, Keith, Cranston, RI, and Marilee (Alan) Marty, Baxter, IA; grandchildren: Paul, Beth, Chris, Stephen, Michael, Hannah, Eric, Ben, Pete, and Emily; 2 great-grandchildren: Oliver and Ella; 3 sisters-in-law: Lois Benson, Stephen, Bonnie Elseth, Prior Lake, and Nona (Robert) Griggs, Torrance, CA; nephew Jeff (Jami) Nelson, Stephen; and niece Tammy (Craig) Sundby, Argyle. She was preceded in death by her husband Allan; her parents; and her brother Russel Nelson.

[Interred Stephen cemetery]

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky