Joyce Elaine Ehlers was born on August 27, 1936 to Tom and Hattie (Cooper) Campbell and spent her youth in the Letcher and Plankinton area.
Joyce married Donald Edward Ehlers on June 10, 1953. They raised twelve children on their farm north of White Lake where they specialized in Registered Black Angus. In 1961 Joyce founded the Prairie Pups 4-H Club and continued to lead and mentor area youth throughout her years. In 1977 Joyce became the familiar face of Ehlers General Store in White Lake. Joyce had an eye for recognizing a need and bringing the community together to fill it.
Many strangers became friends as Joyce opened her heart and home to all. Joyce was instrumental in starting the 4-H Achievement Days Pancake Breakfast. As an avid community supporter Joyce recently recognized a need when the American Legion fell into disrepair and organized several fundraisers to pay for renovations that the community will be enjoying for years to come. Joyce was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, Sunday School teacher, an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary, White Lake Commercial Club, supporter of the McCrossan’s Boys Ranch and her fifty-seven years with 4-H. Joyce was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame in 2005.
Joyce was a glowing example of how education is not just for the young as she worked hard and achieved her GED at 64 years old. Joyce ran the White Lake baseball concession stand for years. Often she would say this is her last year then start again in the spring because she loved watching the kids play and improve year after year. Joyce loved her family and enjoyed bringing them all together for holidays, special occasions and quiet afternoons.
She is survived by five sons, Wayne Ehlers of Canova; Ronnie Ehlers of White Lake; Russell (Claudia) Ehlers of White Lake; John (Kim) Ehlers of Sioux Falls; David (Denise) Ehlers of Newcastle, WY and four daughters, Wanda (Wayne) Hohn of Mitchell; Bonny (Terry) Warnke of Mitchell; Fay DeBoer of Mitchell and Suzie Letcher of White Lake; one daughter-in-law, Jennifer Ehlers Chance of Letcher; twenty-seven grandchildren, thirty great-grandchildren and five nieces and one nephew.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Don; sister, Patty; sons: Gary, Donnie David and James Joe; three grandchildren, Wes Hohn, Amy DeBoer and Stacy Ehlers; two sons-in-law, Bob Letcher and LeRoy Sperlich.