Joan Elizabeth Joyce

joan joyce

Joan Elizabeth Joyce, of Fargo, N.D., journeyed to her Eternal Home on November 2, 2022, at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND on All Souls Day. Joan was born to Betty and Thomas Corbett of Oklahoma City, OK, on February 28, 1944. She grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Northwest Classen High School in 1962.

She entered the University of Oklahoma in September of 1962, and completed her education at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. In 1967, she graduated from Marquette with a degree in Dental Hygiene. It was at Marquette that she met a Dental Student from North Dakota, and by January of 1967, she and the love of her life, Michael Joyce, were preparing to graduate and get married later that same year.

Joan and Mike were married at Christ The King Catholic Church in Oklahoma City on September 9, 1967. From Oklahoma City, they moved to Fargo, ND where Mike began his dental practice with Dr. Phil Hagen, and Joan started her career in Dental Hygiene with Dr. Robert Slominski in downtown Fargo. At that time, there were very few hygienists in North Dakota, and Joan helped form the North Dakota Dental Hygienists Association. At their inaugural meeting, Joan was elected the first President of the ND Dental Hygiene Association, a position she held for 2 years.

In 1970, Joan and Mike had their first child, Ann, followed by Michelle in 1972, Patrick in 1974, and Steven in 1977. Early on, Joan immersed herself in the daily activities of a very busy young family. She loved spending time with family and friends, travelling, cooking, baking, volunteering at church, and to the best of her ability, living her life one day at a time.

As the kids grew, Joan returned to her profession as a hygienist, and worked alongside Mike and his associate, Dr. Charles Klemz. Joan was loved by many of her patients, and she took great pride in her work, AKA: counseling and/or gab sessions while cleaning teeth. She retired shortly after becoming a grandmother, which became one of her greatest loves. “Grammy” was so very special to her grandchildren: Grace, Benjamin, Sofia, and Connor (Ann & Jason); Hannah, Andrew, Elizabeth, and Michael (Michelle & Kevin); Brayden, James, and Lauren (Patrick & Tabatha); Jack (Steven & Carrie); and her great grandson, Owen (Grace & Max). She adored them all and took every opportunity to spend time with them, attending many of their activities, whether it was driving them to school, going to a game, attending musicals, plays, and concerts, special tea parties in the Living Room, you name it, she made every effort to share in their joy. She planned a whole family vacation in August to celebrate 55 years of marriage! Memories to last a lifetime were made.

Joan also had a love for shopping… mostly for others. She and Mike also shared a love for “antiquing”, and they furnished their home in Fargo, and their second home in Troy, NY, with many eclectic pieces. She loved sharing her great finds with all of us. She was also never too far from a phone…at Dayton’s or TJMaxx checkout counters before cell phones, then rarely out of reach once she caved and got a cell phone- like the kids. She was the “Queen of Comments” on Instagram and Facebook, never missing an opportunity to share how proud she was of her family, or how great everyone looked, and, most importantly, how much she loved us. We will cherish those comments and conversations forever.

Joan had a motto in life, and that was to live “One Day at a Time”. She lived out her Catholic faith each day by helping others and sharing unconditional love with her husband, children, grandchildren, and dear friends. She was inspirational to her Monday Meeting friends, and they were to her as well. Joan was very active at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, where she used her artistic gifts to beautifully decorate the church for many years. She and her family have been members at Holy Spirit for over 45 years and consider many of their lifelong friends from church part of their family.

Joan learned to face adversity throughout her lifetime, beginning at the age of one, when she was diagnosed with Polio. She accepted challenges and viewed them as opportunities rather than obstacles. At the age of 74, she was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Joan never gave up hope and was blessed to have been given the best care in the world at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She “gave it to God” and was miraculously healed by the Blessed hands of her amazing Oncology Team, including Dr. Levantakos, Dr. Molena, her Research Team, and the many nurses who cared for her throughout her cancer journey. The past few weeks of her life were of concern with the re-emergence of the cancer. They were preparing to climb another mountain, but God had His own plan for Joan. Our family will be forever grateful for the extra time we were given with our beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend. God is Good…ALL the time.

Throughout their time in Rochester, Joan and Mike became regular attendees at the local Catholic Church, The Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. They drew great strength from Fr. Mahon who led them through this spiritual journey. Joan received many special blessings from lifelong priest friends including Fr. Phil, Fr. Pavel, Fr. Jack Davis, Fr. Ross, and ultimately Kevin Capouch who gave Joan her final Blessing. We thank all who kept and continue to keep Joan in their thoughts and prayers, especially her “Prayer Army”, who prayed for Joan day and night.

The special people in Joan’s life know who they are, and while there are simply too many to list, Rita, who was with Joan just before the time of her passing, Betty Lou- her Dancing With the Stars watching partner, Cynthia, Kathy, and Bette- her Il Divo concert groupies, her Al Anon support group, her Mah Jong group, Mavis- her poodle companion, the Dental wives group, Lenny and Jeri- our partners in crime! Sally and Bobbi- her Wednesday Lunch Bunch; Robbie, Judy, Sr. Jeanne, Jay, and so many others that filled Joan’s life with joy and love. These relationships empowered Joan to embark on this wonderful adventure called life and helped her to prepare for her journey Home.

Joan is survived by her loving husband, Mike, her children, Ann (Jason) Johnson, Michelle (Kevin) Prudlow, Patrick (Tabatha) Joyce, and Steven (Jessica Weiss) Joyce, her loving Grandchildren and Great Grandchild, Her brothers Chris Corbett and Steven (Karolyn) Corbett, her brother-in-law, Danny Joyce and sister-in-law Edith Ann Joyce, and many nieces and nephews, and granddoggies. She was preceded in death by her parents, Tom and Betty Corbett, Mike’s parents, Ruth and Jack Joyce, her sisters-in-law Patsy Koller, Mary Ellen Kirn, and Mary Ann Joyce, brothers-in-law, Johnny Joyce and Tommy Joyce, nephews Danny and Thomas Joyce, and John Thomas Koller, and niece Christy Koller. Also, her beloved doggies and granddoggies, Muffin, Tucker, Riley, Toby, Fitz, Casey, Hailey & Hershey.

A Celebration of life Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 6th at 5PM with a Prayer service at 7:00PM at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fargo. The funeral will be held on Monday, November 7th at 11:00AM, the time of Mike and Joan’s wedding 55 years and one month almost to the day ago, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with visitation at 10AM. Joan always loved flowers, but Memorials are requested to the United in the Spirit Capitol Campaign at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Soul Solutions of Fargo, and The Roger Maris Cancer Center.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo. To sign the online guest book, please visit our website at


Visitation - Sunday: November 6, 2022 5:00 pm

Holy Spirit Catholic Church Fargo, ND
1420 7th St N
Fargo, North Dakota 58102

(701) 232-5900

Prayer Service - Sunday: November 6, 2022 7:00 pm

Holy Spirit Catholic Church Fargo, ND
1420 7th St N
Fargo, North Dakota 58102

(701) 232-5900

Visitation - Monday: November 7, 2022 10:00 am

Holy Spirit Catholic Church Fargo, ND
1420 7th St N
Fargo, North Dakota 58102

(701) 232-5900

Funeral Mass - Monday: November 7, 2022 11:00 am

Holy Spirit Catholic Church Fargo, ND
1420 7th St N
Fargo, North Dakota 58102

(701) 232-5900

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Memories Timeline


  1. My dear Joan, I’ll miss you forever. I loved your sense of humor. We knew each other for over 32 years. You and Mike brought a lot of joy to my life. Thank you, dear Joan, for everything. May the angels lead you into paradise. I will always miss you! Faithfully always your friend Fr. Pavel Mikes, Vienna, Austria

  2. Mike and family,

    You all are in my thoughts in prayers in Joan’s death. May she have eternal peace and joy and her legacy of love and faith live on in all of you. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. Fr. Tim Bushy

  3. Dear Joyce Family, please know we are holding all of you in our hearts and sending prayers at this difficult time.
    All our love,
    Todd & Kim Prudlow and Family

  4. Oh, we are so sad and sorry. Was hoping to see you again. We have so many great memories with your mom. She was a special lady, we are so sad !!

    • Hi Sylvia,
      Thank you for your comments! I have many memories of you in my dad’s office and beyond! I hope my dad can get out to see you…

  5. Dear Joyce family,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you. Joan was such a lovely, warm and friendly person and she will be missed by many people.
    We wish you all strenght in this difficult time.
    Lots of love. Hans Schaaf en Birgitta van den Oetelaar.

    • Thank you so much! My parents loved meeting you and sharing in the joy of welcoming Owen into the world. They appreciate all you do for Grace, as do I. We are all grateful for you!

  6. Mike and Family
    So very sorry for the loss of Joan.
    Our prayers go out for you in this very difficult time.
    Patty Keegan & Jerry Johnson

  7. Sweetest Fargo neighbors for 20 years! They welcomed our family and we were close. I remember going to Christmas Midnight Mass with you all❤️ Joan worked at Moorhead Tech when I taught there. Kind, compassionate and caring person to everyone 🙏🏼😍❤️ Joan will be missed by MANY people.

  8. Oh “Joanie,” what a special friend you were, for 76 years! We lived across the street from each other during our childhood years. Actually, I think we lived between our houses, sharing the shade of a big tree, while we sat on a blanket and lovingly cared for our baby dolls. Preparation for our years of mothering- each of us blessed with four children. I cherished your friendship through the seasons of our lives, even into our winter years. You were like a sister to me. I don’t know what eternal life holds, but I trust it is good and that one day I’ll see your sweet smile and feel your warm embrace. Rest In Peace, knowing you are loved by so many and brought much hope, love and joy to us all.

    • Cynthia, you were a very strong life line for my mom, and she thought of you as a sister. I always loved seeing your kids when we traveled to okc, and I love that you have remained connected for all these years. So grateful you were able to do the trip to Europe!

  9. To Joan’s Beloved Tribe…Mike and Family..I am so sorry for your deep loss. Joan lived a rich and full life of love and service to her family, friends and community. Personally, I could not have asked for my son to have a more loving mother-in-law. Her faithful presence and her kindness were exceptional. May God bless your grieving hearts. candice johnson

  10. Thank you for being a wonderful Aunt and Godmother. The world just won’t be as bright without you here. Now your light shines in Heaven as it should. We all will miss you terribly. Rest In Peace.

  11. Mike and family,

    Thinking about you during this challenging time and new chapter. I hope you are able to find comfort in your memories with Joan.

    For 30 years I loved walking or driving past your home and the big smile and wave from Joan would share if she was outside. I enjoyed our time bonding over a shared passion and love for our neighborhood.

    Sending love and prayers,

    Hannah Sorensen

    • Thank you Hannah. My parents have loved how you have stepped up to support the neighborhood! Thank you also for your kind words.

  12. We first met Mike and Joan when we moved into our home on 19th Avenue South and joined Nativity Parish….49 years ago. Mike was our dentist from that point until the day he retired and Joan was our hygienist. Our paths crossed over the years and it was always a great time! I am so grateful for the memories and laughs we shared at lunch with Rita Lindemoen and Sonia McManus a month ago. One never knows….😔

  13. So sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. Our family was so blessed to have your family in our lives for all these years. Joan was truly a dear friend to my mother and she will be truly missed.

    • Thank you Susan! Our moms were friends for 52 years, so we have a lot of history. I’m so grateful Rita was there to help my mom. Your family is truly a blessing:)

  14. Dear Joyce family,
    We are so sad for your lost. A beloved wife, mother and grandmother ( great grandmother) has past away. We wish you all much strenght in this sad time.
    Our thougts are with you.
    Lots of love,
    Marc v Eijden & Loes Brouwers

  15. To the Joyce family…..I am so sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. She was a wonderful person. Sending prayers to you all.

  16. Dear Joyce family,
    We are so sad for your lost. A beloved wife, mother and grandmother ( great grandmother) has past away. We wish you all much strenght in this sad time.
    Our thougts are with you.
    Lots of love,
    Marc & Loes

  17. Dear Joyce family,

    I am so sorry for your loss and that I could not be there right now. I will miss Joyce a lot and am eternally grateful we could visit this summer and that she got to meet Owen.

    Max van Eijden

    • Max, I’m so grateful my mom was able to spend time with you on the visit to the Netherlands and also this summer in Wisconsin. She loved the life you and Grace are building with Owen, and will continue to watch and support you on this journey❤️

  18. Dear Joyce family,
    we are very sorry and sad that our wonderful friend Joan passed away. Beginning with a pen-friendship nearly 70 years ago, we later have spent many nice and unforgettable holidays with our families in the USA and Europe. It has been a great time. We are glad that she and Mike visited us in Germany last summer. We’ll always remember her helpfulness and hospitality and the time with her will always be in our hearts and memories.
    We will miss and never forget Joan. God bless her and her family.
    Your friends from Germany: Christa, Achim, Heike, Kirsten and families

  19. I am deeply saddened to learn of Joan’s death. Our families met through the Lindemoen’s and SHS events. Over the years, as our children left home and went on to seek their own paths, our lives rarely touched. Yet, when it did, Joan’s kind, compassionate and warm smile/presence made it easy to rekindle our friendship. I am unable to be with you all as you celebrate a life well lived!
    I pray God embraces you with His peace as her light now shines above.

  20. Aunt Joan will be in our hearts forever. She was Godmother to Leo and Joseph Corbett, and a lovely friend to sister-in-law Karolyn Corbett. She leaves behind many precious memories.

  21. Mike, I have had your family on my daily prayer list since we talked at Hornbachers, when you told me Joan had been diagnosed with lung cancer. My sincere condolences to all of you for your loss. Sincerely, Gary Kvittum

  22. To the Joyce family: I am truly sorry to hear of Joan’s passing. She was a wonderful woman, grandmother and friend to many. She will truly be missed. Thoughts and prayers are with you at your time of loss.

  23. Nancy Nichols Piccolo. Remembering my dear friend and college roommate. You were an inspiration in so many ways.

  24. Dear Mike and family- My deepest condolences on the loss of Joan! What an absolutely incredible woman! She and your family will always be remembered! She was so strong and such a fighter! I completely LOVED when you would travel to us as I always so enjoyed visiting with you! It was a complete honor and privilege to get to know and care for Joan! May the incredible memories you have of her be your blanket of comfort and peace during this time of loss!

  25. Joan your light will never burn out! Your affect on the world will last for all eternity! Huge blessings on all!

  26. So sorry to hear about the passing of your mom, Ann. Your parents were always so generous in supporting the Shanley Speech and Debate Team. I still feel bad for ruining the shocks on your Suburban.

    May your tears turn to smiles as you remember your mom.

    Pam Joraanstad

    • Thanks Mrs. J for your kind words…you were a big part of my hs career, and I still look fondly on all my experiences. My parents loved supporting the speech and debate program, and I laugh that you remember the shocks needing to be replaced😂 I remember all the hours you spent helping me with my speeches, and you truly had a servants heart teaching communication. I would love to reconnect! Call or txt 5178964393

  27. What a life Joan had. So sorry it was time to say goodbye.
    A donation was given to Soul Solutions Recovery Center in memory of Joan.
    Wishing you peace,
    Ken & Tarra Ihry

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