ROCK VALLEY, IOWA ~ Joyce L. Claussen, 87, of Rock Valley, died on Thursday, October 13, 2022 at Hegg Health Center in Rock Valley.
Funeral Service will be 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 17, 2022 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rock Valley with Pastor Edward Pease officiating. Following the luncheon, burial will be at Richland Cemetery in Inwood, Iowa. Visitation with the family present will be on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. The funeral service will be livestreamed on Joyce’s obituary page.
Joyce Lorraine Claussen, daughter of Tobias and Inga (Ugland) Stensland, was born on April 24, 1935, on a farm near Klondike, Iowa. She attended country school and Inwood High School. Joyce was united in marriage to Kenneth Claussen on November 6, 1954, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, rural Inwood. They spent 62 ½ years together while they made their home on the family farm. Five children were blessed to this union, four sons, and one daughter.
Joyce devoted her life to being a wife, mom, and grandma. She had a special way of making all her kids and grandkids feel special by remembering little details about each of them which made them feel so loved. She was genuine, and so good. The kind of good when people aren't looking kinda good. She made the good things feel even better, and the bad things seem not so bad. Many have commented over the years that one could walk into her home, and it felt like the weight of the world would fall away, because you knew Joyce would take care of you. She accepted everyone just the way they were and expected nothing from anyone. She believed that there was nothing a good meal couldn't fix. She probably could break records for all the meals she made in her lifetime.
She had peace and contentment about her that was hard to describe. She would never have to tell you about it either, it was something you felt by being with her. Her life wasn't about the next newest thing or the next place to go, it was about the people she could love around her.
Her many sayings of “Oh, not really”, “jee whiz”, “Oh my stars”, and the ultimate favorite, “I Love You More”, make us smile. She also tended to make up her own language with words like Walmarck, Valentimes Day, and pretty soom, which always gave us a good laugh. And we all felt the love when she sang “Bye Oh Bye” to the next baby in the family. She frequently tried to remind us all to "just drink hot water".
She made the holidays extra special with lefsa, red jello in the “good” glass dishes, the ironed fancy tablecloth, and her Christmas vest. She made all the grandkids sing before allowing them to open gifts. She was known for her famous chocolate cake, the most amazing buttermilk pancakes, scalloped potatoes and ham, banana bread, and jelly buns, which for some reason always tasted better at Grandmas.
She looked forward to her weekly hair appointments, and every five weeks enjoyed the “works” as she called her cut and color. She also looked forward to getting her nails done. She never wanted to miss an episode of Bold and the Beautiful which was often referred to as her “stupid show”, She was giddy when she could talk someone into playing Arkansas Rummy or Wahoo with her and would always ask for just one more game. She also was very proud of her Norwegian heritage and said often she was a stubborn Norwegian. She was an eat dessert first kind of person, pie, caramel M&M's, and cherry nut ice cream top the list. She enjoyed many Saturday night date nights with Ken trying the next new steak house.
She was humble, kind, full of grace and an honor to know. The world was a better place with her in it. We often said God broke the mold with her because there is no one as special as her. Her life was full and her legacy was a gift to many. In a world where life can be hard, she gave us all a soft place to be.
Grateful for sharing her life are 5 children, Terry (Lori) Claussen of LeMars, Iowa, Danny (Deb) Claussen of Rock Valley, Iowa, Jim (Patti) Claussen of Garden City, Kansas, Mike (Judy) Claussen, and Debbie (Wes) Kats all of Rock Valley; 16 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; 2 step great granddaughters; 2 brothers, Arthur (Rosella) Stensland, and Marlo (Micki) Stensland; and many special nieces and nephews.
Joyce was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; parents Tobias and Inga Stensland; 5 brothers and their wives, Tilman, Joel (Mary), Eddie (Gladys), Orville (Lois), and Melvin (Rosie); 2 sisters and their husbands, Alice (Darrell) Hars, and Gloria (Ervin) Hamann; and parents-in-law, Alfred and Jennie Claussen.