Joyce Rhody, 80, Albert Lea

Published 9:42 am Sunday, May 29, 2011

Joyce Rhody, loving wife of Mervin Rhody for over 62 years, and wonderful mother to eight grateful children, died Friday May 27, after a brave battle with cancer.

She is the mother of Theresa Rhody, Leland Rhody, David Rhody, Sylvia Rhody Sazama, Wayne Rhody, Anthony Rhody, Timothy Rhody and Patrick Rhody. She is also survived by her husband, Mervin, and her brother, Dick Goodrich, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Born Joyce Goodrich in Aberdeen, S.D., in 1930, the daughter of Albert A. Goodrich and Lauretta (Goodman) Goodrich, she attended grade school in Clark, S.D., and graduated valedictorian of her high school class in Clear Lake, S.D. She married Mervin W. Rhody in 1948 starting her family on the Rhody family homestead farm outside Toronto, S.D., then moving to Waterford, Wis., in 1959, where she operated Rhody Pastry and dedicated 16 years to Southern Wisconsin Center.

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She and her husband retired to Albert Lea in 1995, where she worked tirelessly for charity and church. She was awarded the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award in 2004. A lifelong devout Catholic, she lived her beliefs every day with her family and friends and through dozens of causes she embraced. In addition to 12,000 hours of volunteer work over 13 years with the Freeborn County Crime Victims Center, she was on the state board of Catholic Women United, served two years as president of the American Legion Auxiliary and worked on behalf of HIV/AIDS awareness, American Cancer Society, Council of Catholic Women, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Education and the Retired Senior Volunteer program. Her life characterized Jesus’ direction to “love one another as I have loved you.” She also played nearly as well as she prayed, enjoying dancing, horseshoes, pool and cards.

In lieu of flowers, Joyce asks for donations to the American Cancer Society.

Funeral Services will be held St. Theodore’s Catholic Church in Albert Lea on Tuesday, May 31, at 10 a.m. The Rev. James Berning and Deacon Mike Ellis will officiate. Interment will be in Blom Prairie Cemetery near Toronto, S.D. at 2:30 p.m. Visitation will be Monday evening from 4 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at Bonnerup Funeral Services, Albert Lea.