Cover photo for Vena Joyce Gardner's Obituary
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1924 Vena 2022

Vena Joyce Gardner

March 2, 1924 — June 24, 2022

Vena “Joyce” Gardner, 98, of Punta Gorda, FL, formerly Williston, ND, passed away on June 24, 2022. She was born on March 2, 1924, in Wilburton, KS. She was a woman of faith, a member of Faith United Methodist Church in Williston, ND and attended the 1st United Methodist Church in Punta Gorda.

Joyce married Homer W. Smith in Kinsley, Kansas in 1944. She was the first full-time female employee of Cross Mfg. in Lewis. She volunteered as a Sunday School teacher and as a 4-H and Cub Scout leader. In her free time, she enjoyed reading and spent hours sewing for her daughters and the dolls.

In 1967 they moved to Williston, ND. She was the secretary to the Dean at UND-W (now Williston State College) and answered the phone and became the friendly voice of the college. She was honored with an “Outstanding Faculty and Staff” Award and a “Teton Boosters” Plaque. She loved watching basketball. She also loved singing, joining the Sweet Adeline’s group which went as far as Great Britain to sing and tour.

Family and friends were a top priority. She loved inviting people over for food which would be followed by fun and games. Joyce was the youngest of six girls. They kept in touch over the years with reunions and a “Round Robin” chain letter.

Joyce will be missed by her three children, Thomas (Tom) W. Smith (Sharon) of Moline, IL, Beverly Hendrickson and Darlene Sheffield both of Punta Gorda. She has 7 grandchildren, as well as many great and great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by Homer W. Smith and her second husband, Gerald Q. Gardner, her parents, Lester A. Gerkin and Bertha M. (Toliver)Gerkin, a grandson, Brock W. Clavadetscher, her sisters and a niece and several nephews.

There will be a visitation at 5 PM on Thursday, June 30, at Johnson Taylor Funeral Home, 1515 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, followed by a service at 6 PM. A service will be held July 6, 2022, at 11 AM at Faith United Methodist Church 219 1st Ave W, Williston ND. She will be buried at Riverview Cemetery in Williston.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vena Joyce Gardner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, June 30, 2022

5:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Johnson-Taylor Funeral & Cremation

1515 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Faith United Methodist Church

219 1st Avenue West, Williston, ND 58801

Followed by Interment at Riverview Cemetery,
815 9th Ave. W., Williston, ND 58801

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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