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Obituary for Joyce C. Richards

Joyce C. Richards, 91, passed away peacefully at Gundersen Health System Saturday, Sept 10th 2022.

She was born February 16, 1931 in La Crosse, WI to Harold and Edna (Stankey) Holt. She was a 1950 graduate of La Crosse Central. After graduating Joyce went on to have an extremely successful 55-year career in the auto industry where she was a trailblazer for all women in the industry. She was one of the first female F&I managers in the industry, ultimately retiring from the career while at Low Burg. She thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of her clients and working for the Burg family.

On top of maintaining a time-consuming career, Joyce also raised 4 kids; step-son Rick, and three kids Larry, Leslie, and Eric. After retirement she found joy in many different ways. Number one was being a grandma to her grandchildren. Every birthday was always remembered with cards that had to say “granddaughter” or “grandson”, and every Easter, Christmas, and Halloween with a card and treat bag. After multiple granddaughters went through her class, Joyce was invited by Ms. Green at West Salem Elementary School to help with her Kindergarten class. Joyce would glow when talking about her students and how they would show their appreciation for her for years to come. She would talk about the joy of being greeted with hugs from her prior students, and how it was so meaningful to her that they would remember her. When she wasn’t in the classroom, you could find Joyce at the Heider Center as a volunteer. When attending a program, you would always be greeted with a big smile and a carefully picked cookie in a perfectly wrapped napkin. Joyce was even awarded “Heider Center Volunteer of the Year” for her work.

Joyce is survived by her children; Rick (Flo) Ristey of Plover, WI, Larry (Susan) Ristey of La Crosse, Wi, Leslie (Richard) Hove of Sparta, WI, Eric (Jamie) Ristey of Stoddard, WI; 13 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her father, Harold Holt; mother, Edna Mason; Step Father, Conrad Mason; and great-granddaughter Sophia Vasicek.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Dementia Research or the Marie W. Heider Center For The Arts in West Salem.