Joyce Schessler

Thursday, June 7, 2018
Joyce Schessler

Joyce Schessler

We say goodbye to Joyce Schessler, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend.

Joyce Lea Jordan Schessler, 81, was born Dec. 13, 1936, in Bozeman, Montana, to Ben and Verda (Embry) Jordan. On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, she passed away peacefully with her family by her side after suffering a massive stroke.

Joyce and her family moved to Laurel, Montana in 1948, where she graduated from Laurel High School in 1954. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert (Bob) Schessler, on Aug. 19, 1956. Both Joyce and Bob graduated from Montana State College (Montana State University) in 1958. She pursued a career as a medical technologist, training at St. Vincent’s Hospital and working at Deaconess Hospital (Billings Clinic) for several years. In 1972, Joyce began working as a secretary/dispatcher for the family’s business, Schessler Ready Mix.

She was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority for many years, making many life-long friends. Joyce and Bob were also members of the Enzian Schuhplattler Verein Bavarian dance group for nearly 22 years. She played accordion and accompanied many of the groups dances. They preformed at the Laurel Herbstfest, All Nations Week in Red Lodge, Worland Oktoberfest, and many other places throughout the years. The members of the German dance group were a second family.

Joyce was a very talented lady. She created many beautiful quilts and sewing projects, sharing them with her family members. Joyce operated the Yarn Barn in Laurel when her children were young, teaching many to knit and crochet. Not only did Joyce play the accordion, but she could play the piano and trumpet. She especially enjoyed learning to play the button box accordion. Joyce had a passion for genealogy, and was proud to become a member of the DAR.

In 1966, Joyce and Bob bought property on the Main Boulder River, south of Big Timber, where they spent many precious weekends with their family. She referred to it as her Shangri-La. 

Joyce is survived by her husband, Bob Schessler; son, Rob (Julie) Schessler, daughter, Stacey (Roger) Osborne; grandchildren, Samantha (Matt) Ostwald, Emilee (Tomas) Sarkela, Heston (Jen) Schessler, and Makayla (Justin Kostelecky) Schessler all of Laurel; great-grandchildren Luke Ostwald, Levi and Harlee Mae Sarkela, Kendall Schessler, and Cooper Schessler who is due in August. She is also survived by her sister, Barbara (Bob) Hougardy, of West Lake Village, California; brother-in-Law, Don (Bev) Schessler, of Tuscon, Arizone; brother-in-Law, George Ruff, of Tustin Ranch, California; aunt, Mary Burshek, Wenatchee, Washington; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and dear friends, Georgia and Richard Helterbran. Joyce was preceded in death by her infant son, Larry Michael Schessler, parents, Ben and Verda Jordan, sister, Phyllis Ruff and nephew Derron Hougardy.

The funeral service will be held at the Laurel Methodist Church, 307 West 4th Street, on Wednesday, June 13, at 10:30 a.m. Inurnment will follow at the Laurel Cemetery, with reception to follow at the Laurel Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Laurel FFA Alumni, c/o 4715 Grand Ave., Billings, MT 59106, or Laurel United Methodist Church Fellowship, PO Box 1055, Laurel, MT 59044.



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