November 6, 1928 - October 19, 2019


Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 noon on Monday, October 28, 2019 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Sartell for Joyce A. Gelle, age 90, of Sartell who passed away on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the Country Manor in Sartell. Reverend Timothy Baltes will officiate. Interment will take place in the parish cemetery.

Visitation will take place one hour prior to services on Monday at the church.

Joyce was born on November 6, 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to George and Augusta (Bronder) Kitzmiller. She married Ervin W. Gelle on October 10, 1953 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud. They lived on a farm in Sartell for many years and later in homes in Sartell. Joyce graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Columbus, Ohio. She attended St. Elizabeth’s Hospital of Dayton, Ohio, seeking a degree in Nursing. When first married she worked for Regis Paper Company, Sartell. She was the first Office Manager for newly formed Central MN Mental Health Center. Later worked with John P. McNamara, M.D. Psychiatrist, Rice. As an older student she attained a Bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict and her Master’s degree from St. Cloud State University. She returned to the Mental Health Center as a Program Director for Northway Group Home. She retired from there in 1995. On March 31, 1995 Governor Arnie Carlson declared it “Joyce Gelle Day in Minnesota” as recognition for her services to the community. She then worked at the St. Cloud Hospital. Her community volunteer work included serving on SFX Area Rec Task Force, Anti-stigma Task Force, Community Support Program, and others. She was a member of St. Cloud Area Senior Fun Singers, and helped in writing the Sartell Centennial History book (2007).

Joyce and her husband served as a licensed foster home for Stearns and Benton Counties for 22 years caring for 50 foster children. They were charter members in establishing educational programs for foster parents.

She is survived by her brother, John “Jack” Kitzmiller; nephews, Jack Jr. (Mellissa), Richard and Jim; sister, Julie (John) Gates; children and families, Ray (Lucy) Pendergast, Julie (Dennis) Hanson and family, Rose Gerads, Mark Charron, Jerileen Davis; grandchildren, Eugene (Tina) Pendergast, Sara (Justin) Johnson, Celia Pendergast, Allen (Angie) Katzner, Jr. Brandon, Chad and Amanda; great-grandchildren; and great great-grandchildren.
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ervin in 1997; brother, Alvin “Dick” Kitzmiller; John Pendergast, and Heidi Hofmann.

Memorials are preferred.