Joyce Mattern Robson
“Teacher, Mother, Friend,
July 14, 1934-Aug. 29, 2011
Joyce Mattern Robson, 78, a retired teacher and Great Falls resident, died Monday, August 29, 2011, at her home, of pancreatic cancer.
Her funeral liturgy was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Friday, September 2, with entombment in Hillcrest Lawn Mausoleum.
Joyce was a classy woman with an artistic spirit, a love of family, a passion for teaching and an impeccable sense of style. She touched many lives with her caring heart and fun personality.
Youngest daughter of Frank and Anna Mattern, German immigrants from Russia; Joyce’s mother passed away when she was only 2; her father when she was 11 years old. She thrived by the support of her 10 siblings, who helped raise her and put her through college. Sister Mary and her husband Albert became a mother and father and niece Becky became a sister.
Joyce graduated from Rugby High School, N.D. in 1952. She went on to obtain her teaching certificate from Minot State Teachers College in Minot, N.D. in 1954. In 1979, she graduated from the College of Great Falls with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Sociology.
Joyce’s love of teaching young minds was evident. She was a popular educator, teaching in public schools in North Dakota, Nevada and locally in Missoula, Helena and Great Falls for more than 12 years. After taking a break to raise her two sons, she returned to teach at Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Great Falls for the next 25 years, teaching roughly 1,000 children over the course of her long and successful teaching career.
Individual care was a staple of Joyce’s teaching style. Fellow teachers said that Joyce knew more about her students than their own family. She was constantly teaching; be it at home with her sons and grandchildren or in the classroom, Joyce could turn any moment into an opportunity to convey knowledge or one of life’s important lessons.
A master bridge player, Joyce was a member of the American Contract Bridge League for 40 years. She played in the local Great Falls chapter, Unit 408 Duplicate Bridge Club.
Relationships with her family and friends were valued. She loved hosting social gatherings, bridge games and taking group vacations. Holidays and weekends were spent with her children, grandchildren, and family. Summer vacations were taken with family “home” to North Dakota or to one of Montana’s many treasures.
Joyce is survived by her husband, Robert Bruce Robson of Great Falls; son Kent Leo Overfelt of Great Falls; son Reed Allen (Faryaneh) Overfelt of Potomac, Md.; stepson Tory Robson of Minneapolis, Minn.; stepdaughter Tawn (Rodger) Loftus of Port Angeles, Wash.; stepdaughter Tina Robson Cole of Tacoma, Wash.; sisters Theresa Mattern Gronvold of Rugby, N.D.; Becky Hamby Schmidt of Grand Forks, N.D.; a brother-in-law, J. Douglas (Jean) Robson of Hot Springs, Ark.; a sister-in-law Myrtle Mattern of Rugby, N.D.; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Casper, Pete, Joe and Lawrence; sisters Helen, Margaret, Barbara, Anne and Mary.
Joyce loved taking her two dogs, Pork Chop (P.C.) and John Jacob (J.J.), to the Trailside Dog Park run by the Animal Foundation of Great Falls. Joyce’s family is setting up a memorial in her name at the dog park. If you would like to make a donation, please send a check payable to the Animal Foundation and mail it to PO Box 3426, Great Falls, MT, 59403-3426.
Condolences may be left for the family online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by Schnider Funeral Home, Great Falls, Mont.
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