In Memory of Joyce M. Anderson

December 8, 1927 - November 25, 2023

Joyce Mae Anderson, a lifelong resident of Little Falls, Wis., passed away at her home on Nov. 25, 2023, just two weeks shy of her 96th birthday.

Joyce was born Dec. 8, 1927, in a snowstorm so fierce that the switchboard operator alerted neighbors to hitch up their horses and help clear the road so that the doctor could travel from Amery for her home delivery.

The youngest of three children of Jerome and Jennie Ness Winger, Joyce was baptized and confirmed at the Little Falls Lutheran Church. Her unswerving faith and her love of church family were central to her life. She served in many leadership roles and led countless Sunday school programs and 4-H music contests.

Music was another enduring source of joy. Joyce led singalongs at Golden Age Manor, and once filled in on a men’s barbershop quartet – fake mustache and all. At Christmastime, she paid homage to her family roots by singing “Silent Night” in Norwegian. For the annual Fourth of July parade, Joyce played keyboard and sang patriotic songs from the porch of the old Little Falls Merc. Co., which her family had once operated.

Joyce met her first husband, Phil Carlson, at a Sons of Norway dance on a weekend visit home from her job at the Waldorf Paper Co. in St. Paul. They were married Sept. 12, 1953, and raised six children in the home built by her grandfather. Joyce and Phil were married 28 years before Phil’s death in 1981.

Several years later, Joyce found new love with grade-school classmate Arthur Anderson. They were married Oct. 27, 1985, and lived a life filled with laughter, dancing and travel until Art’s death in 2005.

Joyce’s family and friends filled that void, traveling with her on numerous bus tours and memorable trips to Norway and Alaska. For years she hosted Happy Hours with her “regulars,” and other friends and family. She shared stories of her adventurous life, lent a reassuring ear, and told the occasional Ole and Lena joke with her Scandinavian brogue.

Joyce was known as the unofficial mayor of Little Falls, in part for her deep family roots in the community. But it was her genuine curiosity of others, quick wit, and gift of making everyone she met feel special that will be her cherished legacy.

In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by sister Muriel Winger and brother Glen Winger.

She is survived by children Julie (Rick) Schanon of Amery, Candyce (Jeff) VerBurg of Monona, Mark Carlson of Amery, Jeanne Carlson of Little Falls, Carolyn Carlson of Dresser, Cheryl (Bob) Gentilli of Belleville, as well as eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Sincere thanks to the caring staff at Adoray Home Health and Hospice, to Pastor Loren Tieg, and to bedside musicians Jim Haugerud, Debbie Tieg and the Beavers. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Little Falls Lutheran Church.

A visitation will be held Thursday, Dec. 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Williamson-White Funeral Home, 222 Harriman Ave N., in downtown Amery. A service will be held Friday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, at Little Falls Lutheran Church, 1272 44th Ave., Amery, WI 54001.

Last Update: Dec 01, 2023 10:50 am CST

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