Joyce Evenson of Columbia loved family, church and education

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | 9:26 p.m. CDT; updated 9:46 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 20, 2014

COLUMBIA — Joyce Evenson devoted herself to her family, church and education.

Joyce Muriel Evenson of Columbia died Monday, May 19, 2014. She was 86.

She was born July 2, 1927, near Bristol, S.D., to Daniel and Frieda Sigdestad. She married the Rev. Walter H. Evenson on Aug. 29, 1952.

Mrs. Evenson graduated from Moorhead High School in Moorhead, Minn., and the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis. She went on to earn her teaching certificate from Moorhead State Teachers College. Mrs. Evenson taught early elementary school in Minnesota and Canada.

Mrs. Evenson's family said that her "unconditional love for family and others was the testimony of how she lived the love of Christ." She and her husband were missionaries in East Africa from 1955 to 1960. They also served congregations in South Dakota, Missouri and Kansas. Mrs. Evenson was a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Jefferson City, where she worshipped with enthusiasm.

Mrs. Evenson is remembered by her family as a woman of boundless energy who had affection for everyone she encountered. She would often send encouraging cards and letters to others.

Mrs. Evenson is survived by her husband, Walter H. Evenson; four daughters, Lynn Vallandingham and husband Dennis of Jefferson City, Joy Evenson of Weatherford, Texas, Jan and husband Dan Gray of Columbus, Ohio, and Julie Evenson and significant other Joe Aguirre of Rocheport; three sons, Luke Evenson of Columbia, Lorne Evenson of Columbia and James Evenson and partner Duane Carter of Wichita, Kan.; a brother, Curtis Sigdestad and wife Kathy of Louisville, Ky.; 12 grandchildren, Rachel Storlie, Trent Vallandingham, Sarah Vallandingham, Christopher Evenson, Nickolas Tiemeyer, Tanner Wells, Jacob Wells, McKayla Evenson, Cassandra Evenson, Brittany Evenson, Kevin Evenson and Matthew Gray; and two great-grandchildren, Reid Vallandingham and Quinn Vallandingham.

A son, Lee Duane; a daughter, Jill Adair; a sister, Mary June Anderson; and a brother, Duane Sigdestad, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1529 Southwest Blvd. in Jefferson City. Services will follow at the church. A second visitation will also be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Pyrmont Trinity Lutheran Church, 2831 Pyrmont Road in Stover. Graveside services and burial will follow.

Memorial contributions can be made to Brauersville Immanuel Lutheran Church, Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Pyrmont Trinity Lutheran Church or Indian Oaks Mission.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Fox Funeral Home, 302 E. Butterfield Trail in Cole Camp.

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