Joyce Margaret (Beltz) Gelhar passed away peacefully at the Clarkfield Care Center on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. She was born August 28, 1927, the only child of Gilford (Johnson) Beltz and Mabel Gudeem. After her father died in 1937, she moved with her mother from Minneapolis to Southern California where her mother was employed as an accountant. Joyce graduated from Los Angeles Fremont High School and began her nursing education at UCLA, finishing her degree at Fairview Hospital School of Nursing in Minneapolis in 1949. While in school she met her husband-to-be, Ervin Leroy Gelhar, while he was a patient in her care. She loved to joke that she met her husband in bed. Together they raised four children: Diane, Janet, Glenn, and Carol. They lived in Illinois, Los Angeles, and then Oregon until 1972 when they were offered the chance to come back to the family farm, which she always referred to as the “home place” just north of Clarkfield.
Besides being a skilled and dedicated nurse, she was also a master seamstress, an excellent baker, and a loving mother and wife. She always had a strong faith and was an active member of Clarkfield Lutheran Church, including a stint as parish nurse. She was active after retirement, working in hospice, and teaching exercise classes. Joyce believed the most important thing in life was caring for others. She was loved by many and will be deeply missed.
Joyce is survived by her children: Diane (Russell) Rawls, Janet Dinsmore, Glenn Gelhar (Megan Falvey), and Carol Fenske (Steve Wahl); grandchildren: Monica Kingsbury, Valerie Smith, Zachery Smith, Zane Smith, Brennan Gelhar, Erik Gelhar, and Clinton Fenske; 6 great-grandchildren, and many “adopted” children and grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 11 AM at the Clarkfield Lutheran Church with visitation beginning one hour prior to the service at 10 AM. Interment to follow in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Boyd. Memorials preferred to the Clarkfield Care Center Employee Fund in recognition of the excellent care she received there.