Beautiful Hugs. Welcoming Arms. Smiling Care. Easygoing Fun. Nurturing Words. Kind Heart. Honest Soul. Wonderful Woman. Super Friend. Incredible Mom. Amazing Grandma. Loving Wife.
Those words describe Joyce Rathe who, on Good Friday, April 2nd 2021 at the not ready age of 71, quickly and quietly left all those she dearly loves ending her - “can we please get just one break,” no complaints - battle with cancer. In hospice, she said, “I am going to sooo miss all of you.”
Lennart and Virginia Nelson welcomed Joyce on April 6, 1949. She grew up with her brothers Bob*, Lee, and twin Jack, sister Barb*, and with cousins considered sisters Chris*, Candy*, Patty*, and Gail. She was a proud Central High School graduate, class of ’67, and in recent years, enjoyed being part of the “Duluth Heights Reunion” group.
In 1971, just shy of 50 years ago, she married Gordon Rathe whom she met through her brother Lee’s stock car racing. Her family grew to include her parents-in-law Vernon* and Martha*, sister-in-laws Jan (Maynard) and Sam (Dick). Joyce and Gordy enjoyed camping, gun shoots, and cabin time together. He couldn’t have asked for a better partner with her optimistically no-nonsense, just get it done personality.
She spent many years as Auntie “Aunnie” Joyce before having her own children Jody (Jamie) and John. Their home became a beacon for family. Throughout her life she worked to make sure “the kids” - nieces and nephews who are no longer kids but adults, grandkids (Grace, Christopher, Jaidy, Jake, AND ☺ Darian, Talia, Joe, Abri), cabin kids and friends’ kids - feel special and loved. She did the same for her friends and family on top of being a level-headed, no judgement advice giver - Ohh…to be able to hug “Joycie” one more time. She really enjoyed helping prepare meals at the Salvation Army, being part of the Owlettes, and spending time with her step-mom Doris*. She loved playing bingo, dice and cards - especially cribbage especially against her nephew Daryl, listening to Elvis, drinking rum and coke, making her sloppy joes and tuna salad, doing anything that needed to be done with/for family and friends, reading, shopping, having her brothers at the lake, and enjoying all moments in life. Most of all she loved us, and us know who we are.
Please join us in celebration to honor Joyce. Visitation at 10am on Saturday, April 24th at the Duluth Gospel Tabernacle, with service at 11am followed by a lunch social. Interment at Sunrise Memorial Park Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joyce Emily Rathe, please visit our floral store.