Joyce Nelsen, 84, formerly of Flandreau, passed away peacefully on the evening of February 22, 2023, with the love of family surrounding her.
Joyce was born in Seneca, South Dakota in May of 1938 to Nels and Ruth (Cooper) Wahlen. She loved her life on the farm and enjoyed many idyllic days there spent with family. She enjoyed taking long walks in the country, never forgetting how gentle and peaceful the breeze was. She especially loved Saturday night dances at Lebanon, and a special memory was her mom’s annual birthday picnic on Memorial Day, where friends and family would gather during those special days in the 40’s and 50’s to enjoy her pies, potato salad, and fried chicken.
She graduated from Faulkton High School in 1956 and headed to Minneapolis to complete a stenotype course. She worked in Dayton, Ohio at Wright Patterson AFB, but missing South Dakota, she moved back to Sioux Falls to work at Sioux Valley Hospital as a Ward Secretary in Pediatrics. She married George Dixon, and moved to Flandreau, where George helped his uncles at the Sugar Bowl. A daughter, Yolanda, was born in 1965, and daughter Nicole was born in 1970.
Flandreau treated her well, and she worked for several wonderful employers over the years. Her attention to art and detail were useful at Neil and Catherine Teer’s Ceramics Shop. Most of the 1980’s saw her working at Riverview Manor, where she genuinely loved the residents, her employers and co-workers. Someone gave her the nickname “white lightning” for her energy as she zipped around. She also worked at Prairie Junction as a second job during some lean years, and this is where she met her future husband, Roger Nelsen. Joyce and Roger Nelsen married on December 10, 1988. During the 90’s she also worked for Beth Nelsen in Ceramics and for the Flandreau Post Office.
Joyce was an active member of Flandreau United Methodist Church and devoted much time to the Christian Women’s Group and UMW. She loved her outings and coffee with good friends and with The Red Hats. Her family was her pride and joy; she was known for her sweet and caring nature, and for her genuine interest in people.
Joyce is survived by her daughters, Yolanda (Dave) Dixon Kingery, and Nicole (Brian) VanBockern; brother Dick (Jean) Wahlen; in laws Randy Lehman and Bonnie McCloud; stepchildren, Lynda (Tom) Even, Lisa Brown, Shelly (Tony) Baumberger, Keith Nelsen, Stacy (Robert) Hoffman; as well as grandchildren, Drew Kingery, Ana Kingery, Connor VanBockern, Maria VanBockern, and step grandchildren, Cody Brown, Morgan Brown, Tyler Baumberger, Jake Baumberger, Lyndsey Ljunggren, Abigail Nelsen, Nicholas Hoffman, Arial Hoffman, Ravyn Hoffman, and step great-grandchildren.
Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Roger Nelsen; parents, Nels and Ruth Wahlen; siblings, Shirley Aasby, Gary Wahlen, and Sherry Lehman; nephew, Scott Lehman; and grandson, Jason Elhoff.
A Celebration of Joyce’s Life will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Flandreau United Methodist Church. Visitation and a light lunch will follow the service.
Memorial donations may be made to the United Methodist Church, and the American Lung Association.