Cover photo for Joyce (Lunke) Claffy's Obituary
Joyce (Lunke) Claffy Profile Photo
1931 Joyce 2019

Joyce (Lunke) Claffy

June 29, 1931 — March 30, 2019

Funeral services for Joyce (Lunke) Claffy, age 87, of Milaca, will be held at 11 AM on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Milaca with Rev. Tim Bauer officiating.  Interment will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 – 7 PM Wednesday at Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca and 1 hour prior at the church on Thursday. The family prefers memorials to the Herbert Claffy Endowment Scholarship Fund at Milaca High School or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Joyce Hildred (Lunke) Claffy was born to Hilmer and Carrie Lunke on June 29, 1931 in Thief River Falls (TRF), MN. Joyce grew up and graduated from TRF High School in 1949. Joyce was crowned Miss Thief River Falls in 1949 and represented them in the Minneapolis Aquatennial Pageant. She attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND.

Joyce married the love of her life Herbert Claffy on December 29, 1949 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The couple lived there until Herb graduated from the University of North Dakota. The couple moved to Milaca, MN in the summer of 1952, where they lived and raised their family.

Joyce was a stay at home mom when her children were young. She worked several part-time jobs in the Milaca area. She also worked for Mille Lacs County in the Welfare Office as a Child Support Officer retiring from there in 1986. Joyce was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and also of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Hansen-Hayes American Legion.

Joyce spent many hours in the bleachers supporting her husband and watching her children and grandchildren. Joyce also headed bake sales and chaperoned activity buses and dances. She loved dancing, playing bridge, bowling, reading, going to the movies, traveling the United States, and bingo. Joyce was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandma, in-law, aunt, and friend. Joyce was loving, caring, and compassionate and was the first one there to help whenever someone needed.

Joyce and Herb truly had a beautiful love story and built a wonderful life. They were blessed with four children, Mark, Rebecca Lundgren, Debra (Phillip) Vedders, and Brenda (David) Schmitt;  10 grandchildren, Jordan (Sarah) Claffy, Kelley (Ryan) Young, Jason (Kristina) Lundgren, Jennifer (Ralph) Biniek, Gregory (Angie) Vedders, Cassandra (Katie Murray) Vedders, Justin (Jenna) Peterson, Travis (Amanda) Peterson, Cody and Mason Schmitt;  16 great-grandchildren, Seth and Devon Lundgren, Samuel Biniek, Wyatt and John Vedders, Katie Murray, Austin, Cooper, Colton, and Carson Peterson, Novalie Peterson, Abby and Tyler Bemis, Bridgett and Gibson Claffy, and Brooklyn Young;  2 great-great-grandchildren, Gabriella and Lily Lundgren.

Joyce passed away peacefully on March 30, 2019 surrounded by her loving family at Sterling Pointe in Princeton, MN. Joyce fought Alzheimer’s with grace and dignity. She is now forever free.  She is survived by and two brothers, Harlie and Donald Lunke;  brother-in-law, Jerry Claffy and many other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her husband, Herb Claffy;  parents, Hilmer and Carrie Lunke;  brother, Cliff (Goodie) Lunke;  in-laws, William and Florabelle Claffy;  brother-in-law, Bill (Isabella) Claffy and sister-in-laws, Dianne Claffy and Joyce Lunke.

We would like to thank the memory care workers at Sterling Pointe and Guardian Angels Hospice for the wonderful loving care given to Joyce during her final years.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home

260 Central Ave S, Milaca, MN 56353

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Funeral Service

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Trinity Lutheran Church

735 2nd St SE, Milaca, MN 56353

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