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Joyce Hesla Lee May 5, 1925 - June 3, 2013

Joyce Hesla Lee May 5, 1925 - June 3, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Joyce Lee, 88, died June 3, 2013, in Albuquerque, NM, after a long decline due to dementia. Joyce was born May 5, 1925, on a farm near Wakonda, SD, to parents Inman A. and Agnes Brendsel Hesla. She attended Pleasant Dell country school, Augustana Academy (high school), Canton, SD, and studied at both the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, graduating from Augustana in 1946. In 1948, Joyce married G. Orion (Luby) Lee, a classmate at Augustana. Prior to her marriage, Joyce taught high school English and music in Watertown, SD, and Luverne, MN. She and Luby taught together in Hull, IA, from 1948-50, after which Joyce took a "break" to raise four children. During this time the family lived in Boulder, CO, and Marshall and Duluth, MN, moving to Willmar in 1959. In 1965, she resumed teaching music, first at Willmar Junior High School for four years, then in several elementary schools until she retired in 1986. An active member of Vinje Lutheran Church, Willmar, she sang in the adult choir, directed the Confirmation Girls Choir, and served in numerous other capacities. In 2001 Joyce relocated to Albuquerque, living her last seven years at the Garland House where she received loving, excellent care.

In addition to music, Joyce loved being with her family; many vacations were spent with her parents, children, siblings, and extended family on the home farm in southeastern South Dakota. In retirement she enjoyed travel across the country to visit her grandchildren and to attend elderhostels. Having grown up during the Depression, Joyce learned to be frugal. She could sew, knit, mend, and generally figure out how to get a little more mileage out of everything. She and Luby enjoyed happy and relaxing summers sailing, swimming, and biking at their lake home near Willmar, prior to Luby's death in 1985.

Joyce was also preceded in death by her parents and three of her siblings, Arlene Hamilton, Helen Heihn, and Inman Hesla. She is survived by her children, Don Lee (Nan McGrane), St. Paul, MN; Becky Lee (Dan Rader), Albuquerque; Andrea Lee, Albuquerque; and Rolf Lee (Jenny-King Turko), San Francisco. She is also survived by one brother, Loren Hesla, Tyler, TX; six grandchildren, Hannah Lee, Anders Lee, Katie Rader, Mark Rader, Emma Lee, and Rose Lee; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Memorial services will be held in Albuquerque at St. Timothy's Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 16, at 4 pm and at Vinje Lutheran Church, Willmar, on Friday, July 5, at 11 am. Interment will be at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, on Monday, July 8, at 10 am. Memorial gifts may be made to Vinje Lutheran Church or Augustana College.