Joyce Marie Dreischmeier, 77, of LaValle, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2022, at home on her family farm near Dutch Hollow Lake, with her daughter Lori at her side. Joyce was a devoted mother, daughter, sister, aunt, companion, friend, teacher, computer whiz, comprehensive scrapbooker, and family chauffeur whose nose was often in a map. Her family and friends knew her to be a kind, generous, funny, wise, decisive and independent woman who was a fabulous listener. She never missed a birthday or holiday card to her loved ones.
Born on April 2, 1944, in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Joyce was the younger of two daughters to Albert and Laureen (Degner) Dreischmeier, 2nd generation German immigrant farmers, born in Plum Valley in the Township of Woodland, Sauk County, Wisconsin.
Joyce grew up on her parents’ farm in La Valle, Wisconsin, and helped with farm chores from an early age. She attended St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Wonewoc and Wonewoc Center High School, graduating with honors in 1961. She played saxophone in the school band and was a member of the yearbook staff. She was recognized for her typing speed with her senior photo being tagged, “When her fingers touch a typewriter, it’s full speed ahead.”
A first-generation college student, Joyce received a B.S. in Education, 1966, and a M.S. in Business Education, 1970, from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In 1969, she was hired at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, as a Secretarial Science Instructor and retired in 2003 as a Technical Support Instructor teaching installation and support of computer software, hardware and networking. Her students fondly remember lessons in dis/reassembling computers while being timed. She was a humble and behind-the-scenes person who genuinely cared about her students, and she had incredible skills in being highly organized, efficient, accurate, prompt, and taking shorthand notes.
A determined, young single parent, Joyce finished college while her parents cared for her only daughter, Lori. When she started working at MPTC, she moved Lori to Fond du Lac, creating a home that instilled thoughtfulness, education, and a strong work ethic which eventually led Lori to graduate from Wellesley College in Boston and later the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Joyce imparted her belief in trusting your instincts, and her favorite motto was “everything happens for a reason”.
Family was very important to Joyce. She shared a wonderfully close relationship with Lori, and they had frequent visits between Wisconsin and Los Angeles. They had fun taking their beautiful annual holiday photo in LA where Joyce got to know Lori’s friends whom she cherished. Joyce also loved amazing travel adventures from a trip to Russia in the 1970’s to visiting Lori in college. Together with Lori, she traveled to Paris and Switzerland, traversed California, visited family in Montana, and even wore a wild hat for her 70th birthday celebration at the Kentucky Derby.
Joyce had a close, special relationship with Duane “Duke” Wielgosh, her companion of nearly 40 years. They loved cooking, playing cribbage, watching the Packers, tending to their fruit trees, home improvement projects, annual winter trips to Las Vegas, visits with Lori, excursions to see friends, and weekends at the farm.
The last six years, Joyce dealt with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), a rare neurological disease that progressively limited her vision, mobility and speech/swallowing. In 2017, she moved from Fond du Lac to the farm in La Valle, and later, to the Reedsburg Area Senior Life Center. She was an active member of Trinity Baptist Church in Reedsburg, and her faith and church community were meaningful to her.
Joyce is survived by her daughter Lori Dreischmeier of Santa Monica, CA; brother-in-law Al Bailey of Billings, MT; nieces Lynette (Jim) Wilsey, Linda (Rich) Werbelow, both of Billings, MT; four great-nieces and nephews: Cody (Julie) Goodman and son Lane of Billings, MT, Amy Goodman of Billings, MT, Tyler Meitzel of Belgrade, MT and Sarah Meitzel of Billings, MT; half-sister Lisa (Chip) Schneider and son Tyler of Wisconsin Dells, WI; along with many cousins, relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Laureen (12/14/99) and Albert Dreischmeier (5/19/02); her sister, Karol Bailey (6/20/13), her companion, Duke Wielgosh (3/23/16), and aunts and uncles, John (Dorothy) Dreischmeier, Elsie (Leslie) Kingery, Regina (Roy) Leary Johnson, Arnold “Bill” (Florence “Lambie”) Dreischmeier, Marie (Richard) Schultz, Vernon (Shirley) Dreischmeier, Robert (Agnes) Degner, Ina (Willis) Berndt, Frank (Ethel) Degner, Orin (Leona) Degner and Orlo Degner.
A memorial service with lunch to follow will be held on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the Trinity Baptist Church with Pastor Michael Lopp officiating. Burial will follow at St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Wonewoc with Pastor Peter Snyder officiating.
The Dreischmeier family extends a special thanks to the compassionate and extraordinary team at the Reedsburg Area Senior Life Center, Agrace Hospice Care (R.N. Karla, Karen, Danielle, Beth and team), the Reedsburg Area Medical Center (Dr. Christopher Wenninger), UW Health Neurology (Dr. Teresa Mangin), Dean Medical Group Ophthalmology (Dr. Julia Agapov) as well as the helpful and caring in-home nurses (Kryssie, Margaret and others), CNAs and helpers and our invaluable family friend Dave Crouse for their support to Joyce these last five years.
A memorial donation may be made to any of the following:
* Cure PSP
* The Trinity Baptist Church, Joyce Drieschmeier Memorial
* A charity of your choice in Joyce's name
The Farber Funeral Home, Reedsburg, is assisting the family.
To send flowers to Joyce's family, please visit our floral store.