Joyce Gladys Litke, age 82, of Marathon, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at her home, surrounded by her loving family and under the care of Ascension at Home Hospice. She was born on January 24, 1939 to the late Hilton and Genevieve (Atkins) Rusch in Hull, Marathon County. She met Robert Litke, and the two exchanged marriage vows on June 22, 1957 in Wausau. Sadly, he preceded her in death on September 12, 1988.
Joyce worked for Weinbrenner Shoe Factory in Merrill for most of her adult life, starting as a stitcher and working her way up to foreman; she had an amazing work ethic. She retired at the age of 70, after 53 years. She enjoyed her work and the people that she worked with and was a strong union representative. At one time, Joyce and Robert had their own ceramic business at their home, called “Joy’s Ceramics” and she taught many classes. She was a crafty person that was also a great seamstress, and very skilled at quilting. Joyce loved caring for her vegetable gardens, making her own food and canning it, something that she had passed down to her family. Joyce is remembered as a strong, independent woman that was also supportive and non-judgmental. When she could, she would take some time and simply enjoy some shopping. Joyce was a dedicated and loving mom, grandma, and great grandma (GiGi). She adored the kids and spoiled them rotten! Her spunk and her loving nature will be sadly missed.
She will be lovingly remembered by her daughter: Pamella Barkley of Merrill, with her children: Joshua (fiancé Michelle) Barkley of Marathon, with their children: Wyatt, Easton, Johanna and Tucker, Bethany Hoover of Green Bay, with her son: Elliott, Alyssa (fiancé Rodney) from Denver, Co, with their children: Charlotte and Aydenn and Caleb (Ashlee) Barkley of Racine, with their children: Kate and Lucy, her son: Patrick (Ruth) Litke of Tennessee, with their children: Levi (Liz) Litke of Florida, with their children: Lola, Lucas and Lyla, Jacob (Demi) Litke of Rhinelander, with their children: Autumn and Delaney, Andrew (Amanda) Litke of Cuba, Matthew Litke of Washington and Zachariah Litke of Iowa, sisters: Dorothy Tautges and Maryann Buchkowski, both of Wausau and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband: Robert Litke, son-in-law: Michael Barkley, infant twin of Elliott and 7 siblings: David, Harvey, Walter, Frank, Florence, Erma and Rosemary.
Funeral services for Joyce will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11am at St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ in Merrill. Pastor Mike Southcombe will officiate. Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2021 from 10am until the time of the service, also at the church. Burial at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery will immediately follow the service.
The service will be live-streamed, beginning at 11am and can be found under her obituary on our website, for those who would like to attend virtually. A recording will be posted at a later time.
Seating will be limited, masks are required at the church and social distancing will be practiced.
The family wishes to thank Ascension at Home Hospice for their compassion and support shown to Joyce and her family during her last days.
Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.