Joyce Gebhardt

Joyce Gebhardt
Date of Birth: June 20, 1928
Died on: March 12, 2019

Joyce Gebhardt, age 90 of Aberdeen, SD died peacefully on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at Bethesda Home of Aberdeen.

Gladyce Joyce, the daughter of Joseph and Helen (Lohre) Svalstad, was born on June 20, 1928, in rural Roberts County, SD. Following her graduation from Sisseton High School, Joyce attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD long enough to be certified to teach elementary school.

She taught at One Road Township school, and then in Sisseton, SD where she met and married Wallace Gerber. They began farming near Peever, SD, eventually moving to a farm outside of Columbia, SD. They were blessed with four children before Wallace’s premature death in 1966 at age 40. Joyce moved her family to Aberdeen following Wallace’s death, and she continued to teach at O.M. Tiffany Elementary with a year’s sabbatical to complete her bachelor’s degree at Northern State College.

In 1975 she married Gerhardt “Tiny” Gebhardt and joined him in farming near Monango, ND. They retired to Ellendale in 2006, where Tiny died in 2008.

In each of her adopted communities, Joyce was an active contributor to religious and social life. She enjoyed gardening, sewing, and most of all, music. She valued education, and with Tiny established a scholarship for Ellendale high school seniors through the North Dakota Community Foundation (

Joyce was a life-long scribe who recorded events in her own life as well as those of people close to her. She moved back to Aberdeen in 2013, where she discovered the Senior Center’s Penning the Past group and in 2017 compiled her memories into a book, My Story.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents and two husbands.

She is survived by her children Denise (Jon) Beusen, DeVern (Cathy) Gerber, Clyde (Nancy) Gerber, Roxanne (Allen) Heiden; 4 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; sisters Marjorie Krueger and Verna Foss; brothers Duane (Judy) Svalstad, Darrell (Judy) Svalstad, and Dennis Svalstad; brothers-in-law Darwin (Karen) Gebhardt and Quentin Gerber; sisters-in-law Beth (Myron) Walth, Jeanine Gerber, and Doris (Roger) Laubach; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.


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