June 15, 1942 - January 7, 2021
McFarland, WI - McFarland- Joyce A. (Jerdee) Wildt, age 78, passed peacefully at home with her family by her side on Thursday, January 7, 2021 after a long struggle with vascular dementia. She was born on June 15, 1942, the daughter of Edwin and Dora (Sperle) Jerdee. Joyce spent her childhood years growing up on the family farm with her Mom, Dad and sisters, Ruth and Kaia. This is where she learned the value of hard work and family, she was very proud of her rural upbringing and referred to it often. Joyce graduated from Stoughton High School in 1960 and attended UW Platteville before enrolling in the Madison General Hospital School of Nursing where she graduated in 1963. While at Madison General she met and formed a life long friendship with Betty, Karen, and Mondy. It was also at MGH where she met her future husband, Phil Wildt. They were married on October 23, 1965 at West Koshkonong Lutheran Church and have celebrated 55 wonderful years together.
Although educated and employed as an RN, Joyce's passion was music. She was a self-taught, naturally gifted musician with the ability to play several instruments by ear. Joyce successfully combined her nursing background and her God given musical talent to develop a music program for the elderly at several area nursing homes and assisted living centers. Most notably at Skaalen Home in Stoughton where she was employed for 15 years and known affectionately as the "music or accordian lady". Joyce loved people and loved to entertain at home. The Wildt household was the scene of many people singing around the old player piano.
Joyce was a long time member of McFarland Lutheran Church where she sang in the choir for several years, served as a greeter and was part of the Befrienders Ministry program. She was also a member of the McFarland Lioness Club and the Sound of Madison Chorus for many years.
During their 55 years of marriage Phil and Joyce took several trips throughout the USA and visited Norway where their ancestors came from. They spent many annual winter vacations in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Upon retirement they purchased a cottage at Heritage Lake Resort in Egg Harbor where their family and friends spent many years full of happy times and making memories.
Joyce was a kind, loving and caring person who always put the needs of others before hers. She was an exceptionally devoted wife, mother and grandmother, affectionately known as "Nani". She loved her family like no other and they loved her just the same. She will be missed by all who knew her.
Joyce is survived by her husband, Phil; two daughters, Brenda (Bill) Petersen and Monica Larson; four grandchildren, Reed Larson, Brooke Petersen, Emme Larson, and Brynne Petersen, whom she absolutely adored; two sisters, Ruth (Worth) Tiffany and Kaia (Fred) Fry; several nieces and nephews; and many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents.
The family would like to thank the staff of Agrace HospiceCare and Just Checking In for their kind, compassionate care of Joyce, and to Pastor Tim Dean and Pastor Kelli Schmit. A private service will take place at McFarland Lutheran Church and Roselawn Memorial Park for her immediate family. A Celebration of Joyce's life will be planned with date and time to be announced. Memorials may be made to McFarland Lutheran Church.
Please share your memories of Joyce by posting on her Tribute Wall at: www.CressFuneralService.com.
Cress Funeral Service, 5801 US Highway 51, McFarland. (608) 838-0655