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Joyce Loretta (Rocek) Flansburg, 83, of Missoula, passed away on May 10, 2023 at St. Patrick Hospital. She was born on October 28, 1939 in Missoula, to Albert Henry and Florence Edna (Hyatt) Rocek, one of six children. Her family moved from Missoula to Stevensville when Joyce was in the fourth grade. The family established a farm in the Bitterroot where Joyce had special memories of vegetable gardening with her dad. The family moved back to Missoula when Joyce was a senior and she graduated from Missoula County High School in 1957.
She found her first job as a switchboard operator at Missoula Community Hospital. Not long thereafter, Joyce married James Arthur (Jim) Flansburg after he discharged from the U.S. Navy and the couple made Missoula their home.
Joyce attended the University of Montana, obtaining her first degree in 1990, an Associate of Arts. She later obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and French and went on to obtain her Master of Social Work from Eastern Washington University. She was especially proud that she began the pursuit of her Doctorate at the University of Montana.
In addition to working as a switchboard operator, Joyce held positions as a Typesetter, Administrative Assistant, and Real Estate Broker. Later in life Joyce went on to teach Communication Studies at Spokane Falls Community College and was a professor in the graduate program at Walla Walla College in Missoula. While obtaining her counseling license, Joyce's educational journey came full circle when she was active in the Change Point Program in Spokane. Change Point empowered women who had been out of the workforce through counseling, career building, and higher education.
In younger years Joyce loved singing in the Sweet Adelines. Some of her favorite memories were water skiing at the lake in the summer and snow skiing with her family in the winter months. She was a master sewer, creating everything from a wedding dress to skiing attire and outfits for her grandchildren. Joyce was preceded in death by her husband of over sixty years, Jim Flansburg. The couple had three children. Both were members at Missoula Alliance Church.
Survivors include her son Rick Flansburg (Agata), Burke, Virginia, daughter, Bonnie Kahler (Les) and daughter Kim Reiser (Ray) Missoula. Joyce was so very proud of her six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Joyce found inspiration in the writing of Virginia Satir, who wrote, “Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference” and found comfort in her favorite song, Alan Jackson’s “The Old Rugged Cross.”
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