Obituaries detail

Joyce Annette Merriman

Joyce Annette Merriman passed away on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at age 63 after a hard fought 11-month battle with cancer.  Joyce was born November 12, 1957 in Benson, Minnesota the daughter of Majorie Bernice Johnson and Gehard Clifford Mitteness. 


Joyce’s early life taught her an incredible work ethic, level of toughness and strength through her hard work and dedication helping on her family farm. Her strong- willed personality was exemplified throughout her life and battle with her illness. She attended Benson High School and later the University of Minnesota where she attained her Bachelor’s Degrees in animal science and journalism from the University of Minnesota.


Joyce exemplified the meaning of unconditional love and respect throughout her 33 years of marriage to her husband Bruce. They met in Denver, Colorado and after two years of dating, Bruce proposed on July 4, 1986 under the fireworks and they married on March 7, 1987. Joyce and Bruce set a wonderful and important example of true partnership in a relationship.


Caretaking was Joyce’s passion. She fostered a supportive and close-knit family environment filled with love, laughter, patience and lots of trips to the emergency room raising three rambunctious boys who never said no to adventure. She loved to watch her children do the things that made them happiest in life and was always their biggest fan, supporting them whichever way the wind blew. She wanted her house to be the gathering place for friends and family so she always made sure that anyone who entered her home felt welcomed, loved and taken care of.


Joyce was an active gardener and enjoyed spending time on the weekends doing yard work and perusing  the aisles at the grocery store to find the best “fuel saver” deals. She was a devoted K-State sports fan and hardly ever missed watching a football game. She had a love of country music – a bond she often shared with her family during cross- country road trip sing alongs - and the great outdoors. In addition, she was a mentor to many throughout her successful career as an Editor.


A daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend and a caretaker of many. The warmth, love and strength she lived by will be carried on by her loved ones for generations to come. There is no end to the amount of lives Joyce touched and the lasting impact she left on everyone she loved. Joyce will be greatly missed.


Joyce is survived by her husband Bruce; her three sons, Sam, Joe and Matt; her mother Marjorie Mitteness; Her siblings Brad Mitteness, Gary Mitteness and Linda Mitteness.


Liz Cowperthwaite Feb 03 ,2020

Friend, coworker ,Littleton ,Colorado

Dear Bruce and Merriman family, I was so saddened to hear of Joyce's death. I worked for her for several years at AORN in Denver. I thought her obituary perfectly captured the person she was. I have many fond memories of Joyce and am thinking of your family at this time. Heartfelt condolences, Liz C

Ann Walter Feb 03 ,2020

College Friend and Sorority Sister ,Lyle ,Minnesota

I was so sad to hear of Joyce’s illness and death. I was a college friend and sorority sister to Joyce. I have so many great memories of a Joyce. I am so glad that I got a chance to meet her husband Bruce when they got married and her kids later when they still lived in Denver. You always knew what Joyce thought because she told you😊. I loved her honesty and her loyalty to friends and family. I regret not keeping in touch better through the years, but I did think of her often with fond memories. My sympathies to Bruce, Sam, Matt, and Joe. Also to her mother Marge and her siblings Brad, Gary and Linda. I know she will be missed and her legacy and memory will live on in each of you. I am so grateful that she was my friend❤️ Rest In Peace Joyce!

Janet Feb 03 ,2020

Sister-in-lae ,Merrill ,Oregon

Great job guys. You said it all and knew your mother well. Joyce will be missed by our whole family. It's never easy to lose family and she was family to us all. My favorite sister-in-law😄 love you all. Wish I could be there to give you all hugs.

Tony Blackwood Feb 04 ,2020

Friend of family ,Greensboro ,North Carolina

To Sam and the rest of the Merriman family. Your family is in my families Thoughts and prayers. Hearing Sam talk about his Mother she sounded like a fun, strong and caring person. She will live on in each of your hearts as just that fun, strong and caring person you all loved.

Michele Mitteness Westlund Feb 04 ,2020

Second cousin ,Hudson ,Wisconsin

Please accept my condolences! I am so sorry to hear about to hear about Joyce!

Lorene Thornburg Feb 04 ,2020

Friend/former neighbor ,Littleton ,Colorado

Words cannot describe my sadness. The world is a little less effervescent without her terrific laugh and wonderful sense of humor. But heaven sure ought to be a little more fun!

Marlys Miller Feb 05 ,2020

College friend & sorority sister ,Madison ,Wisconsin

What a wonderful tribute to Joyce, it certainly captured her. I first met Joyce in Bailey Hall on the U of MN St. Paul Campus and we both pledged LDPhi in the spring of 1978. That solidified our long and deep friendship, which involved many good times, lots of laughs and a few parties.😊 We were roommates for a year, and we shared the same major (although I had to study harder than Joyce did!) I'll always remember celebrating her & Bruce's wedding and them at mine. As life unfolded, we didn't keep in touch as well as we should have, but that did not diminish the sadness I feel in knowing that Joyce is gone. She was a loyal friend. My heart goes out to all of her family.

Helen Starbuck Pashley Feb 05 ,2020

Former colleague at the AORN Journal ,Arvada ,Colorado

Dear Bruce and Family I was good friends with Joyce when she worked at the Journal. She thought me a lot, and as nurse with no journalism experience I relied on her help and support. She was smart, funny, and a pleasure to work with. I am so sorry for your loss. I will miss her.

Gloria Zaucha Feb 05 ,2020

Cousin ,Ypsilanti ,Michigan

So sorry for your loss. I just remember Joyce as a very cute little girl. She had the most beautiful smile. By her picture, she looks the same all grown up. Wish I had had a chance to get to know her as she seems to have left a lovely legacy for her family.

Dammy Agboola Feb 06 ,2020

coworker ,Leawood ,Kansas

Joyce was a great team player. She was very fun to work with. She makes you comfortable during any conversation with her, even tough and critical ones. She will always stop me from using, 'Ma'am' when I address her. She jovially said, "Dammy don't make me look old than I am now, are you British?". I will miss you, Ma'am.

Lindsey Hoover Feb 07 ,2020

Coworker ,Leawood ,Kansas

I will always be grateful to Joyce for hiring me to work for her at the AAFP. Technically, she hired me two times and luckily forgave me for that one time I took another job. During the last 12 years, I learned a lot from Joyce. Some of what I learned was gleaned from eavesdropping on her phone calls from my nearby desk, where I learned that she loved her boys, Sam, Joe, and Matt, or Samuel, Joseph, and Matthew if she was mad at them, more than anything in the world. I also learned about marriage. One day she was talking to Bruce on the phone, and when she hung up, I said, Joyce, let me ask you something, it really does seem like you love Bruce a lot. She laughed and said, yes, I do. Then I asked her what her secret to a happy marriage was? She said that eventually, she realized she wasn't going to change Bruce and that everything was a lot easier after that. We both laughed, and I asked her how long it took for her to realize that...she smiled and said, oh, about 20 years! She will be missed.