Joyce Witte

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but rather what they become by it.” Joyce Witte became the best.

Joyce Witte, 93, of Sac City passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017.

Joyce Marie Prell was born on Nov. 7, 1923, to parents George F. and Pearl (Langbein) Prell in Lindsay, Wis. Joyce was baptized on Nov. 29, 1923, at home in Lindsay. Because her father died a few years later, Pearl and Joyce found their way back to Early where Pearl’s family resided.  Joyce attended school in Early and graduated from Early High School with the class of 1941.

Twenty years later, Joyce married the love of her life, the blue-eyed son of the “kindest man she ever knew,” Robert (Bob) Witte, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Odebolt on Sept. 17, 1943. Both worked hard to provide for their four children: Larry, Darwyn, David and Jolene; making sure they understood the value of education, how abilities should be explored and that attending ISU and cheering on the Cyclones was a way to attain the first two goals. She lost the love of her life when Bob passed away suddenly on April 23, 1994.

Joyce was a homemaker in the greatest definition of the word. Joyce set an example that labor is inspired with love by creating masterful meals. Always a little competitive, she created 28 salads at an Easter meal – not because she liked making salads but because she wanted to make sure everyone’s favorite was included. She often baked for clubs and other events in the area and was famous for her pies that were to die for. 

There were many things Joyce liked to do, but shopping with her long-time friend Betty Schramm was always at the top of the list. Taking the grandkids fishing and packing a picnic lunch always became a great outing. She had fun and enjoyed her travels with cousin and friend Arlene Riley as they “traveled the world.” As they both aged, their daily phone calls became their “connecting” time.

Joyce loved having her grandchildren visit, of course Grandma always made sure to have a big supply of her baked goodies on hand for them. The love of family came through in many ways but Christmas was full of wonderful decorations, cookies of every variety, unparalleled cream puffs, succulent roasts and the famous slush drink mixture.

For the past few years, getting around became harder and harder for Joyce but she wanted to stay in her home. Julie Kitt and the “girls” (as she called them!) at Home Choices provided her with excellent care, companionship - everything that was ever asked of them – with love and empathy.  She loved “the girls” as family.

As she became more stationary, she loved sitting outside on her porch, exploring new nail polish colors, watching cooking shows and having phone calls with kids and grandkids on a regular basis. Her calls always began with, “Do you know anything?” Once she touched base and found out you only had humdrum news, the call was quickly over but not until she said, “Love you. Bye.” We love you too, Mom and Grandma, and all the boys promise to be “good boys.”

Her wonderful heart and kindness to others was unsurpassed but Joyce was never a pushover.  She was an assertive, wise woman, so you better pay attention!

We say goodbye to Joyce's physical body, but the lessons she instilled in us and the joy she gave her family will live on. We will remember the joy she found in the act of giving and bringing family together - be it with her stories, a delicious home cooked meal, or her permanent and infectious, smile. Her spirit lives on in every family get-together, every act of kindness and generosity shared with the world, and every Snickerdoodle cookie, baked with love.

Left to cherish Joyce’s memory are her children: Larry (DonnaMarie) Witte of Warwick, N.Y.; Darwyn (Sally) Witte of Des Moines; David (Michelle) Witte of Lake View; and Jolene (Jim) Hultgren of Storm Lake; grandchildren: Chris, Ted, Jenny, Brennan, Aiden, Harry, Jason, Sarah, Nathan, Carrie, Bryan, Curtis and Sam; 22 great-grandchildren; brother Ed Robson of Sun City, Ariz.; brother-in-law Donald (Wilma) Witte; sister-in-law Jan Witte; many extended family members and friends.

Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; parents George and Pearl Prell; sister Marge Hosteng; daughter Carol; brothers-in-law: Clarence, Roy, Ed, Lee, Burdette, Emmett, George Witte, Don Hosteng; sisters-in-law: Esther Patterson, Hertha Teghtmeyer, Irene Carstensen.

Funeral Services were held Thursday, Sept. 28, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sac City. Burial was at Cook Township Cemetery in Early. Farber & Otteman Funeral Home of Sac City was in charge of the arrangements.