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Joy LaVeta Gehrt 1914-2012

May 24, 2012
Emmetsburg News

MALLARD -- Joy Gehrt of Mallard died Monday, May 21, 2012, at the Emmetsburg Care Center. She was 97.

Services will be Friday, May 25, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Mallard. Burial will follow in Rush Lake Cemetery.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Methodist Church. The Harris Funeral Home in Mallard is in charge of arrangements.

Joy Kingdon, the daughter of Ora and John Kingdon, was born Dec. 31, 1914, on a farm near Mallard. She was baptized in 1919 in the Mallard Episcopal Church.

Joy attended the Mallard Public School, meeting Lester Gehrt in the third grade, a relationship that lasted 83 years. They both graduated in 1932 from Mallard High School and both went on to achieve higher education. Lester returned home to farm and Joy was a lifelong teacher.

Joy graduated from the two year Elementary Program from the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and later completed her Bachelor and Masters degree from Drake University. She began her teaching career in a rural school in Ellington Township in 1934 where she spent two years, taught in Ames for four years and returned to Pocahontas County during the war years.

She was united in marriage (secretly) to Lester Gehrt in 1939. They lived apart for two years since there was a law prohibiting married teachers to teach. In 1944 Joy and Lester had a daughter, Janet Kay, their pride and joy.

Later, Joy returned to teaching in her home school, teaching Kindergarten, music and Junior High, retiring in 1985. She was a lifetime member of the Educational Organizations ISEA and NEA, a 50-year member of the Mallard Federated Womens Club, a 60-year member of United Methodist Women, sister of PEO, daughter of DAR, and a Loyal Royal Neighbor.

Throughout the years she participated in activities involving children and music. She took pleasure and considered it a privilege to teach Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, act as church organist, piano accompanist and performing many volunteer violin programs for surrounding communities, churches and care centers and also served as a camp counselor.

Joy enjoyed traveling with Lester and Janet on many trips, including journies to California to visit relatives. She also toured Europe, Asia and Africa with her friend Margaret Weller. She spent her retirement years at the cottage in Okoboji, entertaining friends and family.

Joy enjoyed life and was heard many times saying, "Should the Lord take me today, I could gratefully say thank you God for this wonderful life and the opportunities to share it with many friends and students."?She enjoyed watching Janet with her ponies and her pets, pleased with her many accomplishments in school, church and community. She had many fine summers on the farm and in Okoboji with her granddaughter Shelly watching her feed the cattle through the fence, and playing cribbage with her grandfather on the front porch.

Joy's survivors include her daughter,?Janet Kay Lyman of West Des Moines; granddaughter Shelly (Len)?Elrod of West Des Moines; and her three great grandchildren Evan, Avery Joy and Cole.

The family respectfully asks memorial contributions in lieu of flowers.

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