Holy Mackerel Andy it’s a sad day for all feathered friends in Minnesota, Joyce Helen Hockensmith (91), a giant personality in a small package and bird lover extraordinaire, has flown south to her final nesting place. Mountains of sunflower seeds, gallons of nectar, the most unique bird houses and a glistening bird bath were just some of the features of Joyce’s back yard. There were those that hoped that they would come back in their next life as a bird in Joyce’s’ private aviary. On the other hand, no one ever proclaimed they would want to come back as a dreaded, despised, (but never outwitted) squirrel in her yard! With her unlimited energy she herself often seemed like a hummingbird flitting from place to place at great speed. So, if you hear bird song, or a flash of bright, colorful plumage as it glides by, think of Joyce, her extraordinary talent for whistling, her ability to accessorize her outfits, her outrageous sayings and her love of birds. There is a good chance she’s come by to greet you. Near the end Joyce was robbed of her memories by an evil buzzard that goes by the name Alzheimer’s so although we mourn her recent passing we have been mourning it a day at a time for years. She and her husband Ed filled a nest with 8 baby birds over their 48-year marriage. Though some left the nest permanently shortly after Ed, Joyce was still survived by a covey of kids and a gaggle of grandkids and great-grandkids. Preceded in death by Edward and Corrie, sadly missed by Deborah and David McJames, Penelope and Michael Larson, Shane, Sarah, Bergen, Finnegan, and Larken, Keegan, Alizabeth, Tierney and Beckett, Kyle, Amy and Kordell; her sister Gloria (McNab) brother-in-law Bill and niece Luanne. We would like to thank the amazing caregivers at Bickford of Hugo for the exceptional care that Joyce received and the wonderful organization that is Hospice. Not only were mom’s needs met every day, but our entire family has been supported, loved and hugged every step of the journey. We also thank Mattson’s Funeral Home for the respect and dignity they showed our mother and grandmother. To respect Joyce’s wishes a private family gathering will be observed.
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