Joyce E. Dearth, age 89 of Blanchardville died on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at the UW Hospital in Madison. She was born on October 17, 1924 in rural Blanchardville to Peter Olaf & Martha Louise (Lokken) Peterson. They lived in the Blanchardville area during the years she grew up and attended the Tyvand and Sunny Side rural schools. She started working at age 14 to help support the family. She was engaged to be married to Ole Paulson, but he died in World War II before they could be married. During the WWII years she worked in Madison. On February 2, 1946 she married Glenn Wesley Dearth in Milwaukee. They started farming together on Ingwell Road in rural Blanchardville, where they farmed until Glenn's death. She did seasonal work during their early years at Swiss Colony in Monroe. Glenn's dad and brother, Frank and Lester Dearth started Dearth Livestock and Trucking in 1939 which they operated together until Frank died in 1957. At that time Glenn and Joyce joined the company. Lester died unexpectedly in 1961, so Glenn and Joyce operated it together until Glenn's unexpected death while driving a stock truck at the age of 47 in 1970. Joyce then continued to operate the company, including driving the trucks, with family help until her son Larry and partner Art Thompson took it over in 1987. Larry now runs Dearth Trucking with his wife, Stormy. In 1970 she had a home built on the hill overlooking Blanchardville where she lived for the rest of her life. This was on land where the original Dearth Stockyards were. Joyce joined the Yellowstone Lutheran Church in rural Argyle when she and Glenn were married. She was in the Women of the ELCA and was an active member of the church until the day of her death. Joyce was a member of the Blanchardville American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of Norway from Mount Horeb, and helped at the Pecatonica Food Pantry in Blanchardville. She loved dancing, baking and cooking, gardening, bowling, fishing, and especially traveling including trips to Norway, Austria, Canada, Hawaii and many other American destinations.
Joyce is survived by three children, Bonnie (Alvin) Thompson of Winslow, Illinois, Barbara Dearth of Blanchardville, and Larry (Stormy) Dearth of Blanchardville; one sister, Shirley (Charles) Postler of New Glarus; a sister-in-law, Norma Peterson of Blanchardville; eight grandchildren, Dawn (Allen) Sweeney of Winslow, Illinois, Marla Price of Davis, Illinois, Darin (Lori Dineen) Thompson of Winslow, Illinois, Mark (Tara Koester) Thompson of Gratiot, Jon (Darcy) Riley of Long Beach, California, Peter Shumate of Madison, Nicole (Steffan) Demetropoulos of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Jake Dearth of Blanchardville; and seven great grandchildren, Bryant, Austin, Jared, Kaitlyn, Izabella, Konnor, Natalie; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter Donna Mae on March 13, 1964; her husband Glenn on March 28, 1970; two sisters, Mavis in infancy and Priscilla Paulson; two brothers, Oren and Gordon Peterson; and her special friend and companion Gaylord Hermanson.
A visitation for Joyce Dearth will be held on Monday evening, July 14, 2014 from 4:00 until 8:00 PM at the Saether Funeral Home in Blanchardville. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM at the Yellowstone Lutheran Church in rural Argyle at the intersection of Saints Road and Yellowstone Church Roads. Rev. Daniel Bohlman of that church will officiate. Burial will be in the Yellowstone Lutheran Church cemetery. The Saether Funeral Home in Blanchardville is assisting the family. Online memories and condolences can be shared with the family at www.saetherfuneralhome.com.