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Obituary: Joyce Kaiser

Joyce Kaiser

Joyce Kaiser

Joyce Kaiser, 55, beloved wife, sister, daughter, stepmother, grandma, aunt and niece, passed away Sunday evening, Dec. 5, 2010, at her home in Williston, N.D., surrounded by her family.

Her funeral service will be celebrated Thursday morning, Dec. 9, 2010, at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Williston. Rev. Martin Mock will officiate.

Joyce was born on March 3, 1955, in Williston, N.D., to Roy and Vivian (Leier) Winden and grew up in Alexander, N.D. She graduated from Alexander High School in 1973. She began a career as a legal secretary and court reporter working in law offices in Carson City, Nev., Williston, Minn., Phoenix and Boston. Joyce had a life well lived which she has shared with Marv and both his and her families. Everyone will remember her for her joy and zest for life. She loved large and infected all around her with that love. While she bore no children, all who have seen her walking her shih-tzus, Chloe and Ruffles, know her love and care for them was great. They loved her back.

Joyce was the best aunt, as all her nieces and nephews can attest. Joyce became an instant grandma on her wedding day, and their grandchildren loved to spend time with grandma Joyce. Martha Stewart modeled her skills after Joyce: Joyce cooked gourmet meals, made her own clothes, knitted beautiful pieces and was an expert gardener. In her adult years, she was the most disciplined, healthy eater and fitness consumer, even when compared with Karen, the family fitness professional.

Family was huge to her. From the camping trips in the back of a grain truck as a child to the trips in the last year to luxury resorts with each sibling, all adventures were so special. Joyce's family is large, from five siblings to 25 aunts and uncles, before marriages. A family reunion, of which there were many, usually required a resort setting and different-colored T-shirts to identify each portion of the family.

Joyce enjoyed a huge spiritual family and accepted and allowed all others their spiritual space. You can tell that Joyce was special by the fact that she only added friends throughout the years and left none behind.

Joyce loved music and books. Her life experiences taught her to appreciate the arts and, from 2000 to 2007, she was on the North Dakota Arts Council and was vice chair from 2002 to 2007.

Yoga also played a big role in her cancer treatment by maintaining her physical and mental strength. During these last four years, she was able to share this portion of her journey with her sisters and many friends both in Williston and Arizona through classes, retreats and trips. On one retreat this fall, the raft trip with 60-mile-an-hour winds was not exactly what her oncologist had agreed to, but she thought sleeping on a cliff side with a group of strong women was a great time.

Joyce and Marv had a three-year long-distance relationship as he moved from "the least likely person she saw herself with" to her husband. Joyce worked with Marv in his law office and oil business for 10 years until his sanity surfaced, and Joyce retired to more easily manage her high-maintenance husband. Svelte as she was, they ate well, whether at home when Joyce made gourmet meals or traveling in search of the best food they could find at that location.

Williston again was her home for nearly 20 years, until 2005 when they bought a home in Prescott, Ariz. In 2009, they started design work on their dream home outside of Prescott and in April of 2010 construction started. It will be another year to completion, but she can see the finished product, as all decisions, including furniture, have been made.

She was grateful for the support of all her family and friends since she was first diagnosed with cancer four years ago. She received hundreds of e-mails with good suggestions or inspiration. In the end cancer won her life here, but not her spirit or love of life. While her life was shorter than planned, she wants you to celebrate her life fully and be happy this day.

Joyce is survived by her husband Marvin; stepdaughters Shannon (Shane) Street and Susie (Kenny) Posey; and step-granddaughters Kaitlin and Gracee Street, all of Austin, Texas; her mother-in-law, Selina Kaiser of Fargo; her parents, Roy and Vivian Winden of Williston; sisters Jean (Jon) Berger of Williston, Mary (David) Njos of Williston, Margaret (Mark) Fleck of Minot, N.D., and Karen (David) Fehr of Scottsdale, Ariz.; brother Don Winden of Minot; her nephews and nieces, Jason Berger of Williston, Erica (David) Horihan, and their children Tyler and Ava of Mesa, Ariz., Ben Njos of Williston, Andy (Vanessa) Njos, and daughter Danica of Williston, Mallory Fleck of Minot, Rachael and Matthew Winden of Cheyenne, Wyo., Kristina Watkins of Phoenix, Ariz., Dawson Fehr of Scottsdale; and numerous beloved uncles, aunts and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Gilman and Hattie Winden and John and Magdalena Leier; and father-in-law Leo Kaiser.

The family would appreciate any memorials be given to the Williams County Humane Society or The Leonard Nelson Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital in Williston.

Friends may call at the Everson Funeral Home of Williston Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Thursday at the church for the hour preceding the funeral. Friends may also visit to leave condolences for the family or share memories of Joyce.

The Everson Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.

Information provided by survivors.

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