Obituary of Joyce Geschke
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Elaine Joyce (Rehn) Geschke, 88 of Ritzville WA, passed away on March 9, 2023.
Joyce was born on August 24, 1934 to Reuben and Pauline (Lesser) Rehn in Ritzville, WA.
Joyce was raised on the family farm northeast of Ritzville. While attending Ritzville High School she was a majorette, played drums in the band and was active in many other school activities. She graduated from RHS in 1953, and went to Spokane, where she attended Whitworth College for a semester.
Upon returning to Ritzville she worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Peterson. The doctor informed her that when a patient’s nose turned white he might pass out. However, on one occasion when the doctor had to use a mallet, it was Joyce who woke up on the couch!
Joyce married Donald P. Geschke in October of 1954. During the early days of the marriage Don was in the Army. Joyce was with him while he was stationed in Maryland, but when he transferred to Germany, she returned to Ritzville and worked for a second dentist, Dr. Bernard. It was while overseas that Don was informed by the Red Cross that their son Tim was born; it would be six months before he could join his family.
Joyce wanted lots of children and she apparently decided at the onset to simplify things by having them all with the same birth date. With the exception of one, all were born on the 29th… Tim, April 29, 1956; Colleen, July 29, 1958 and Dan, November 29, 1963. Michael although scheduled for the 29th of March, held out and arrived April 7, 1962.
You would think four children would be enough, not so for Joyce. While raising their own family, Don and Joyce also opened their home to 10 foster children. These children ranged from babies to fourth graders and two even stayed as long as three years. Generally children entering a foster home came from a disturbed environment and were skeptical and suspicious. Joyce’s care of these children endeared her to them.
Joyce and Don, as all royalty parents have done, assisted on the community float the year that Colleen was selected as a Ritzville princess. Joyce would fix a picnic lunch and they would all enjoy what we term a tailgate party.
For twelve years she, along with Dan, was involved in running Dan’s Green Thumb. The business began by selling house plants. Within the first year offerings were expanded to include bedding plants and cut flowers for arrangements. The business was renamed Dan’s Green Thumb Florist. At one time or another, the entire family was involved in the business, especially during holidays.
As a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church she taught Bible School and Sunday School for many years. She especially enjoyed the 3 and 4 year old class.
She was 100% “there” for her whole family... including her husband, children and grandchildren! She loved her family! She enjoyed cooking and baking; especially when she created her decorative pies for Lions Club Turkey Bingo. A miscellaneous fact: she loved the color pink!
Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Reuben and Pauline (Polly) Rehn and her husband Donald Geschke in 1977.
She is survived by her children: Tim (Kathy) Geschke, Colleen (Fritz) Coon, Mike (Stephanie) Geschke,
and Daniel Geschke;
grandchildren: Kasie (Cory) Strengholt, Travis (Whitney) Geschke, Craig (Chrissy) Link, Ryan (Robyn) Link, John Vallone, Angalina Vallone, Michael Vallone, Chelsea Coon, James Hunter Coon, Catie (Ryan) Kyle, Courtney (William) Green, Ben (Ashley) Geschke: and 17 great grandchildren.
A celebration of Joyce’s life will be held at the Emanuel Lutheran Church (206 S. Division) in Ritzville, WA on Saturday April 1st, 2023 at 1:00pm. A graveside service will be held immediately afterwards; after which a time of refreshments and sharing will take place at the church.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Emanuel Lutheran Church or to a charity of your choice in memory of Joyce.
To leave online condolences for the family please visit www.danekasfh.com
Arrangements by Danekas Funeral Home, Ritzville, WA.
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