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formerly of Rogers, MN

August 12, 1940 – February 18, 2024


Friday, February 23, 2024

5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Word of Peace Lutheran Church – Rogers, MN.

and continuing Saturday one hour prior to the service at church

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 24, 2024

11:00 a.m.

Word of Peace Lutheran Church – Rogers, MN


Word of Peace Lutheran Cemetery – Rogers, MN

Joyce Lenore Oberdeck, age 83, of Monticello, Minnesota and formerly of Rogers, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 18, 2024, in Spooner, Wisconsin.  

Joyce was born to Maurice and Gladys (Schultz) Freeman on August 12, 1940, in St. Paul. She attended the University of Minnesota, where she met her husband, Louis Oberdeck, in 1962. Upon earning her degree in Home Economics and following Lou’s service in the U.S. Navy during the early years of Vietnam, the couple was married on July 9, 1966, at Como Park Lutheran Church, surrounded by friends and family. After a short stint in Illinois, Joyce and Lou moved to Alaska to care for a number of native and indigenous foster boys. Following this enriching experience, they returned to Minnesota and welcomed three children of their own. A homemaker (now generally referred to as a “stay-at-home mom”), Joyce had a passion for family, birds, flowers, trees, and the living Word of God.

A dedicated member and volunteer at Word of Peace Lutheran Church in Rogers, Joyce exemplified service and Christian commitment, with a special compassion for those misunderstood. She touched countless lives through her thoughtful gestures, writing heartfelt cards to thousands of people in need. Joyce WAS the Word of Peace “sunshine lady” and was frequently referred to “a second mother” to many. Her hope was always to enrich others with the joy of Jesus and sharing of the Christian faith. This continued at her new residence, Willows Landing, where she made new friends and faithfully provided donut holes and other treats for monthly Bible Study.

Joyce was most proud of her children and grandchildren, wanting them to experience the joy of life and follow their dreams. She celebrated and supported each one, both financially and with daily prayer—and of course, with a multitude of greeting cards and hand-written letters.

Joyce was preceded in death by her mother and father, and her loving husband Louis. She is survived by her children: Tyler (Darcy) Oberdeck of Mound, MN, Amy (Jason) Chalupnik of Buffalo, MN, Heather (Michael) Kistner of Spooner, WI and her four very beloved grandchildren: Thomas, Emily, Daniel and Timothy, two step-grandchildren Sarah (Mark) and Ryan (Courtney) and three step-great grandchildren, Lillian, Calvin & Oliver; plus her siblings, James (Paula) Freeman and Joan (Jeff) Hasslen, as well as several nephews, a Godson, other relatives and friends.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Mount Carmel Family Bible Camp, Como Conservatory, or ELCA Good Gifts (animals).

Luncheon to follow the service at church.




10 Guestbook Entries

  1. Marion K Conwell

    So sad to learn of Joyce’s passing. It wouldn’t be possible to count the number of lives she touched, prayed for and sent notes to. Her Word of Peace family will miss their “Sunshine Lady” and I will miss a special friend.

  2. Deb Gedatus

    Will miss her lovely smiles and greetings. Such a beautiful woman that touched so many lives. I feel blessed to have had her in my life and my boys lives♥️

  3. Phil and Leta Frazier

    We miss them and their visits. We sat with them in church for years.

  4. Todd Christensen

    It was an honor to have known Joyce and her husband Lou. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s my folks, my brother and I met her at the old Word of Peace across the street after we became members and she was the kindest person anyone could have known. She was always a people person and very kind to my folks who were about the same age. When my Dad was sick with cancer she was always there for my folks. She was certainly a gift from God. Thanks Joyce for being a very special person and you will be missed by your family, friends, and your Word of Peace family.

    Prayers for this special person and her family.

  5. Christine Prothmann

    In memory of Joyce: She was an extremely lovely and nice person. I have very fond memories of making homemade peanut butter more than 30 years ago. She made me feel very welcome. The short meeting 4 years ago was just as cordial and we always laughed a lot. We will always remember that and keep it in our hearts. We are very sad about the loss. We send a lot of prayers as we cannot be present for the funeral. Christine, Peter, Jana and Nils from Germany

  6. Marie Lund

    Very sad to hear, send hugs and condolences.

  7. Paula and Tom Benson

    Joyce was one of the sweetest and kindest person we ever had the privilege of knowing. Her deep faith was reflected in all of her loving actions. She sent out countless caring and comforting cards to so many people at Word of Peace. She was indeed the “sunshine lady”. She will be deeply missed at Word of Peace.

  8. Jenny Freeman

    I’m so sorry for the sudden loss of your mother, sister, grandmother. Joyce was such a gift. Her easy smile and laugh, the twinkle in her eyes. She always made me, her little cousin, feel special. She will live always on in the hearts of the many people she touched.

  9. Ronald and Faye J

    So very sorry for your families loss. Joyce was a very special lady and will be missed by all that knew her.

  10. Angie Stay

    Joyce was a great example of what it is to be a servant of Christ! We were very grateful for her to have been a confirmation guide to all three of our children. All grown adults now, they have very fond memories of her. I always appreciated her thoughtful cards she would send to our family throughout the years! We feel so blessed to have known her! Our sincere sympathies.
    The Stay Family


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