Joyce Jacobson, 92, of Harmony

Joyce Jacobson, 92, of Harmony, died on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at her home in Harmony.  

She was born at home on March 3, 1927, to Oscar and Helma (Gulbranson) Austin in Canton. She graduated from Canton High School in 1945. Following graduation, she attended Winona State University and earned a teaching/reading degree. She furthered her education over several years, earning a master’s degree at the University of South Dakota. 

Joyce loved to study and further her knowledge, considering herself a “forever student.” When her master’s degree needed further refinement, she went on to obtain a doctorate in teaching in 1965. She used her education and skills to teach summer school at the University of South Dakota. She also worked with the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota and taught at Syracuse University in New York.

In 1947, she married George Milne at the Henrytown Lutheran Church. To this union, their son, Jeffrie Milne, was born in 1952. Joyce later married Murrell Jacobson and they were united for 42 years until his death in 2013. 

While living in Harmony, Joyce owned and operated many local businesses over the years, including: Ladybug Gift Shop, Jem Movie Theater, Center and Main Antiques, Travel Now, Jacobson Insurance, Harmony Greenhouse, Country Lodge Motel, and Viewcrest Farms and Cattle Export. She and her husband, Murrell, also farmed and shipped brown Swiss cattle all over the world.

Joyce was very committed to Harmony and served on many committees and organized a wide variety of events over more than 50 years supporting the community. She was proud to be a member of the Red Hat Society and of her involvement with the Soup Bowl Project.

She is survived by her nieces and a nephew, Mary Austin-Seymour (Ron) of Vancouver, Washington; David Austin (Laurie) of Seattle; Kristina Austin Nicholls (Ethan) of Atherton, California; Shelley Austin of Minneapolis; Greta Austin of Seattle; Jodi Austin-Thompson (Marty) of Rochester; and Cindy Donaldson (Tim) of Dodge Center, Minnesota, as well as many great nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her son, her brothers, George Austin and Allan Austin, and her sisters-in-law, Shirley (Butler) Austin and Marcia (Hammes) Austin.

Memorial donations in memory of Joyce may be made to The American Cancer Society.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, Jan. 10, at 11 a.m. at Greenfield Lutheran Church in Harmony. Friends may call from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Burial will follow the service at the Greenfield Lutheran Church Cemetery in Harmony. Lindstrom Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.