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Joyce Johnson, 70 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
   Thief River Falls - Joyce Johnson, 70, died Monday March 19, 2012 at her residence in Thief River Falls, surrounded by her loving family.
    Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, March 24, 2012 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, with Father Rick Lambert presiding Casket bearers included Kyle Dobias, Brandon Gehrls, Terry Whalen, Timmy Whalen, Nathan Whalen and Stephen Whalen. Honorary casket bearers included Joyce’s grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.. Interment was held at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Thief River Falls.
    Joyce Elizabeth Whalen was born on July 6, 1941 in Thief River Falls, the daughter of George and Esther (Bluemke) Whalen. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.  She attended school in Oklee and graduated high school in 1959. Following graduation she moved to Minneapolis and attended school for a short time.  
    In June of 1961, Joyce married Alan Gehrls and to this union four children were born, Joni, Lee, Carol and Paul. They made their home in Thief River Falls and Joyce worked several jobs, including, Arctic Cat, Union State Bank, VFW, Northern State Bank, Land O’ Lakes, and Northern Pride.  She retired for health reasons in 1998.  
    On September 25, 1970, Joyce married Jerry Johnson in Sisseton, S.D., and they returned to make their home in Thief River Falls. Together they made a relationship which was filled with many great memories.
    Joyce was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church where she was active with the guild in Thief River Falls.  
    She enjoyed crossword puzzles, drinking coffee, visiting with family and friends, watching birds, working with flowers, watching soap operas, playing games, playing bingo and hand-held video games, cooking, baking, reading cooking magazines, studying recipes, and in her later years she started cooking really spicy food. Joyce especially loved spending time with her grandchildren or any children.  She also loved dogs.  Joyce had a wonderful, warped sense of humor; she was always good for a laugh.
    Survivors include loving husband of 41 years, Jerry Johnson of Thief River Falls; four children, Joni (Terry) Brandon of Thief River Falls, Lee Gehrls of Callaway, Carol (Bill) Sanner, Paul (Barb) Gehrls all of Thief River Falls; grandchildren, Kyle (Hannah) Dobias, Alicia Dobias, Breanna (fiancé, Kolt) Sanner, Brandon Gehrls, Troy Brandon, Jenny Brandon, Chris Brandon, Chassity (Danny) Pemberton; three great-grandchildren; mother, Esther Whalen of Oklee; brothers and sisters, Mike Whalen of Thief River Falls, Angie (Dean) Radniecki of Hoyt Lakes, Tim (Linda) Whalen and Greg (Deb) Whalen all of Oklee; brother-in-law, Duane (Ann) Carriere of Seattle, Wash.; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
    She was preceded in death by her father, George; sister, Sharon Carriere; sister-in-law, Sandy Whalen; nephews, Tommy Whalen and Terry Berggren.