Joyce Mary Merten Clason of La Crosse died peacefully at Eagle Crest South on February 13, 2022, with her loving family by her side. She was born May 4, 1933, on the family farm in rural Burlington, Wisconsin to Edgar and Elizabeth Merten. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Burlington and graduated 4th in her class. She married Ralph Clason on October 16, 1954, at St. Mary’s in Burlington.
During their 50-year marriage, Joyce and Ralph lived in several Wisconsin cities: Burlington, Wausau, Wauwatosa, and La Crosse. La Crosse was the dearest to their hearts. Arriving in 1968, they purchased and ran a successful car dealership that is still operated by the family today as Clason Buick GMC. In 1991, Ralph and Joyce were honored to represent La Crosse’s Riverfest as Commodore and First Mate. The Riverfest family became friends for life! Ralph and Joyce were also strong supporters of Aquinas Catholic Schools and were honored with Aquinas’ first St. Thomas Aquinas Award, and in 2022, the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award went to Clason Buick GMC.
Joyce was quick-witted and loved jokes. We will miss the twinkle in her eyes! She made holidays special and was known for her outstanding decorating, coordinated outfits, and zest for fun. Family meant everything to her.
Joyce and Ralph cherished their time at their cabin on Lake Holcombe. Joyce also treasured traveling and did so extensively around the USA and the world. She loved traveling with Ralph in their motorhome, and their numerous exotic trips through Pontiac. Joyce took several educational trips, including one to China. She enjoyed her ski trips with the Red Eye Ski Club and the many adventurous trips taken with friend Margaret Ewert, including to Williamsburg (Virginia), New York City, Russia, Greece, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, and numerous other European countries. There were also many trips taken with family and extended family to Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, and Florida.
Joyce relished the outdoors and enjoyed many activities, including gardening in which she was a long-time member of the Town and Country Garden Club. A lifetime learner, she loved books, participating in her book club, and attending La Crosse Library programs and trips. She also enjoyed bowling, golfing, canoeing, kayaking, and biking, and did many of the outdoor activities with friend Mary Benson. But skiing was her true passion, even though she only started in her 40’s, and there were many ski trips in the USA, Canada, and Europe.
Joyce is survived and will be dearly missed by her children: Carey (William) Kroner, Timothy (Ahna) Clason, Jill (Steven) Doll, Victoria (Dennis) Subera, Lisa Clason, and Alex (Kimberly) Clason; grandchildren: Caroline and Kelly Kroner, Sam (fiancée Lexi) Clason, Stefany (Adam) Lorang and Christine Doll, Luke and Jessica Subera, Jamie (fiancé Joe) Biba and Joseph Clason, and Wyatt and Ava Clason; great-grandson Theodore Lorang; sisters Betty Gaiser and Sister Mary Joyce Merten; sisters-in-law Kathleen Merten and Loretta Merten; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph, in 2004; her parents; brothers: Paul, John, James, Roger, and Edgar Merten; infant sister Geraldine Merten; sisters-in-law: Arlene Merten, Carol Merten, Ruth Whitmore, Hazel Sheard, Fern Montague, and Bernadine Clason; brothers-in-law: Elmer Clason, Les Whitmore, and Herb Sheard; and nephews: Floyd Whitmore, James Clason, and Larry Merten.
The family would like to thank the staff at Eagle Crest South (especially the caring staff in Memory Care 1) for the extraordinary care given Joyce during her final years.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 18, 2022, in Blessed Sacrament Parish, 130 Losey Blvd. South, La Crosse. Rev. Delbert Malin and Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate, with entombment to be held in Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse. Family and friends may visit from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM on Thursday, February 17, 2022, in Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. South, La Crosse, and from 10:00 AM until the time of the Mass at Church on Friday. Wearing masks is required. The services will also be live streamed at https://www.bsplacrosse.org/ for those unable to attend in person.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation, Blessed Sacrament Parish, or the Riverfest Commodore Foundation.