Joy I. PalsJune 27, 1936 ~ November 27, 2017 (age 81)
Joy Ilene (Mortenson) Pals was born in Valley City, North Dakota on June 27, 1936 to Alfred Waldemar Mortenson and Mary Ellen (Cresap) Mortenson.
Joy met her husband, Lowell Pals, at Valley City High School in the fall of 1951 in study hall at the detention table. Thus, began Joy and Lowell’s 66 year journey together. Joy received her nursing degree (R.N.) from the Mercy School of Nursing of North Dakota in 1957 and married Lowell on June 23, 1957.
Joy started her career as an operating room nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fargo. When Joy and Lowell moved to Terre Haute, Indiana in 1958 she joined the operating room staff at Union Hospital. Joy and Lowell were avid members of the Terre Haute Jaycees where they made many life-long friends. Joy was also President of the Jaycee Wives Club and worked to improve the community.
Joy and Lowell moved to the Chicago area in 1966 and made their permanent home in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Joy continued her nursing career at Central DuPage Hospital, then in the orthopaedics department at the Glen Ellyn Clinic and Wheaton Orthopaedics. Joy began a second career in 1979 as the Director of Professional Services at the Glen Ellyn Clinic; however, her love of nursing prevailed and she returned to nursing in the allergy department where she worked until her retirement in 1995.
Joy was a woman who valued education. She began classes at Elmhurst College in 1981 determined to complete her Bachelor of Science degree while working full time. She loved being with the kids on campus, and, no doubt, was a role model to them. She studied on weekends and well into the nights until 1989 when she received her B.S. in Nursing and Business Administration. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. The graduation celebration was unlike any other, attended by three generations of family members.
Joy was a nurse both professionally and as a way of life. She loved and cared for others in all that she did. Her house was a place where people wanted to gather and spend time together. And it was not merely for the cookies and cinnamon rolls, but also to enjoy her love and company.
She and Lowell had five children: Steve (Kathy), Mark (Daphne), Dain (deceased February 11, 1964), Linda Densmore (Randy) and Mary Kostolansky (David, deceased October 19, 2016). She was proud “Gigi” to 14 grandchildren, their spouses, partners and friends, all of whom loved her and she them.
Joy loved Jesus and this was reflected in her love of others. She was active in her church throughout her life. Most recently, she was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Villa Park, where she was in the knitting group that made scarves and hats for the homeless. She was a student of the Bible and participated in Bible study classes. Joy was also active in St Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Miner, Wisconsin and St. Mark Lutheran Church in Vermillion Bay, Ontario, where Joy and Lowell spent many of their summers.
Joy also loved her home, family fishing trips, and baking Christmas cookies with her grandchildren. She was a master knitter, creating heirloom quality Christmas stockings for every family member and countless cherished sweaters. Joy was also a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, tracing her ancestry to Colonel Thomas E. Cresap. She was an avid sports fan following the Northwestern Wildcats, Glenbard West Hilltoppers, Chicago Cubs and the many teams for which her grandchildren played. Despite increasingly limited mobility, Joy was able to attend the Cubs’ victory in Game 2 of the World Series.
Joy died peacefully at home on November 27, 2017 surrounded by family and friends, holding her treasured wooden cross. In addition to her immediate family, Joy is also survived by her siblings: Lois Hamann (Glenn), Sheryl Dermé, and Wayne Mortenson (Laurie).
Memorial visitation is on December 9th from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Villa Park, followed by services at 11:00. Inurnment is at 3:00 p.m. at Forest Hill Cemetery in Glen Ellyn. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, 300 Ardmore Ave., Villa Park, IL 60181; or The David J. Kostolansky, Jr. Memorial Endowment for Excellence for Cancer Research, University of Notre Dame, 1251 North Eddy Street, Suite 300, South Bend, IN 46617 http://giving.nd.edu/ways-to-give/how-to-give/memorial-gifts/