Joyce C. Halvorson, 84 of Holmen died Thursday October 3, 2019. She was born May 10, 1935 to George and Clara Miller in Stoddard, and later baptized and confirmed at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stoddard. She attended grade school in Stoddard, where the principal recommended she become a teacher after seeing her great aptitude, and later attended Central High School, where she was valedictorian of her class. After graduating, she attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Ed. Shortly thereafter, she signed a contract to teach in the rural Stoddard area. She taught at Grandview School, a one-room schoolhouse, from 1955-1958, where she taught forty students of all ages from First through Eighth Grade. She always spoke proudly of her students, noting how well-behaved and respectful they were.
On June 18, 1955, Joyce married her high school sweetheart, James Halvorson, also from Stoddard. She and James raised their family as she continued to focus on both public and Christian education. She and James were active members at the churches they attended, where she often taught Sunday School and adult bible studies, including Olivet Lutheran Church on French Island, Faith Lutheran Church in La Crosse, Holmen Lutheran Church in Holmen, and, most recently, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Onalaska.
During her career, she worked with the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo College to prepare student teachers for the career she loved so much. She prepared approximately 123 college and university students for teaching, imparting her love of the job and her spirit of public service to her pupils. She retired in 1997 after 30 years of teaching at Hintgen Elementary School in La Crosse.
She and James also worked with Education First's Educational Foundation for Foreign Study for thirty years, placing foreign exchange students from around the world in American homes. Her family personally hosted twenty-one foreign exchange students during this time. Joyce and James enjoyed traveling to Europe during their retirement years to visit the former students' families and catch up on their lives.
Joyce is survived by her husband of 64 years, James Halvorson, of Holmen; children Stephen (Sherry) Halvorson of Holmen, and Christine (Jay) Hanjian of Odessa, FL; grandchildren Andrew Halvorson of Sparta, Cassandra (Alan Voll) Hanjian of Hoboken, NJ, James Hanjian of Odessa, FL, and Clarissa Halvorson of La Crosse: and sister Carol (Leland) Zibrowski of La Crescent, MN. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Richard Miller, and nephew Brian Walter.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday October 9, 2019 at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Onalaska. Burial will be in Long Coulee Cemetery in Holmen. A visitation will be held at the church on Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until service time also at the church. Memorials are preferred. The Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley is assisting the family. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com.
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