March 8, 1930 - April 29, 2021


Services will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at Salem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud for Joyce M. Gilyard, age 91, of St. Cloud who was granted her angel wings on April 29, 2021 from heart failure. Her final days were spent at her home surrounded by family. Rev. Timothy Routh will officiate and burial will be at South Santiago Lutheran Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services on Tuesday at the church in St. Cloud.

Joyce was born March 8, 1930 in Dalbo to William and Birdie (Leaf) Hedstrom. Her Swedish father and mother were small dairy farmers in Dalbo. Growing up on their family farm, Joyce learned the art of milking cows, gardening, sewing, and cooking. At a young age, she spent several years helping aunts and uncles at their farms. She graduated from Princeton High School and worked as a clerk and bookkeeper in Princeton and Minneapolis. She married Austen Gilyard on March 14, 1953 at South Santiago Lutheran Church. They lived in St. Cloud on a farm (where Crossroads Mall is now located), then moved near Becker, before buying their farm near St. Cloud. While raising her family, Joyce milked cows, raised chickens, and worked at Herbergers. She was the second woman to be hired at Franklin Manufacturing before retiring after 30 years. Joyce was very mechanical and you could find her under the lawn mower sharpening the blades or cleaning the carburetor. Her interests included family, gardening, fishing, sewing, sudoku, puzzles, playing cards, and crafting. She devoted much of her time and energy teaching her grandchildren sewing, quilting, cutting out paper dolls, gardening, canning, baking, and cooking. She won many blue ribbons at the fair for her beautiful quilts. She was considered a second mom and grandma to many. Joyce was a patient, loving, caring, sweet person with a great sense of humor.

Survivors include her children, Marcy (Kenny) Rau of Sauk Rapids, Kermit (Debbie) Gilyard of Princeton, Carol (Mike Bendel) Gilyard of Long Prairie, Nancy (Dave) Wagner of Golden Valley, Dwight (Nancy) Gilyard of St. Cloud; sisters, June (Wendell) Peterson of New Brighton, Anna Mae Oelkers of St. Francis, Grace (Phil) Ward of Garrison; 14 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; along with many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Austen on October 29, 2006; sisters, Willie (Sandy) Sandquist, Genevieve (Orville) Lindquist and Jeanette Hedstrom; and brother, Kenneth (Krista) Hedstrom.

A special thank you to CentraCare Hospice for the wonderful care given to Joyce, especially Amelia, Carrie and Janelle.