Joyce Darlene Eckhoff

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JUNE 8, 1931 – MARCH 10, 2018

Joyce Darlene Eckhoff, age 86, of Benson, died Saturday, March 10, 2018, at Swift County Benson Health Services in Benson, Minn.  Visitation will be from 5–8 p.m., Monday, March 12, 2018, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Benson.  Visitation will continue from 10–11  a.m., followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  Interment will be in the Benson City Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Zniewski Funeral Home.

Joyce Darlene Eckhoff was born on June 8, 1931 in Tyler, Minnesota, the daughter of William and Borghild (Kvaale) Jorgensen. On March 10, 2018, she died peacefully at the Swift County Benson Hospital, surrounded by her family. She attained the age of 86 years, 9 months, and 2 days.

Joyce was baptized in the home of her grandparents, by the pastor of the English Lutheran Church in Tyler, Minnesota. She was confirmed in the Christian faith at Delano Methodist Church.

She grew up in the communities of Tyler and Delano, Minnesota. After losing her father at an early age, she was lovingly raised by her mother and new father Urban Smith. She graduated from Delano High School in 1949. She received her degrees from Augsburg College in Minneapolis in 1952 in English Education and Library Science.

On November 22, 1952, Joyce was united in marriage to Donald E. Eckhoff at the Delano Methodist Church. To this union, two sons and two daughters were born. Together, Joyce and Don shared 45 years of marriage, before Don’s death in 1998. Shortly after their wedding, during Don’s military service in Japan, Joyce taught English at Osseo High School. After Don’s return from military service, Don and Joyce made their home in Hoffman, Minnesota from 1956-1959. It is here that Joyce began her lifetime career as a mother, with the birth of two sons. In 1959 they moved to Benson, Minnesota. Joyce and Don were blessed with two daughters. In 1966, Joyce resumed her teaching career as librarian at Benson Public Schools, retiring in 1993.

Joyce was a long-time member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where she served as Sunday School teacher, church librarian, and Women’s Guild officer. She enjoyed reading, gardening, and cooking, especially making pancakes for her grandchildren. Joyce and Don enjoyed golfing, spending time at Scandinavian Lake, and traveling throughout the United States. They were truly best friends!

Joyce is survived by her children Scott (Mary) Eckhoff of Glencoe,  Jeff (Ellen Connolly) Eckhoff, of Northfield, Melissa Hampton of Benson, and Kristin (Brian) Bausman of Detroit Lakes; grandchildren Matthew (Sydney) Eckhoff, Ann Eckhoff, Toni (Zach) Swanson, Tom Eckhoff, Megan (Jason) Huus, Paul Eckhoff, Dan Eckhoff, Emily Eckhoff, Kayla Hampton, Nathan Bausman, Ryan Hampton, and Joseph Eckhoff; sisters Beverly Olander and Avis Kunkel; brothers Dale (Jan) Smith and David (Alicia) Smith; and brother-in-law Louis Eckhoff.

Joyce was preceded in death by her husband Donald Eckhoff, parents William Jorgensen, Urban and Borghild Smith, and brother-in-laws Paul Olander and Phillip Kunkel.

With the challenges of memory loss the loving support of a small town provided great comfort to Joyce and her family. Joyce will be dearly missed by her children, grandchildren, and friends.  The family would like to thank her homecare providers, Southview staff, and the Swift County Benson Health Services for the wonderful care they provided to her over the last several years.

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