Antique Vintage 01

Joyce Strahan

June 15, 1923 ~ December 22, 2021 (age 98)


Joyce Strahan died peacefully in her home of natural causes on Wednesday, December 22, 2021. She was born June 15, 1923, in Sioux City, Iowa to Merritt and Esther Carlson.

Joyce graduated from Central High School in Sioux City and attended Wayne State University in Wayne, Nebraska where she met her husband, Donald F Strahan. They were married on March 13, 1943, and together raised six children. During their life together, they lived in Arcata, California from 1956 - 1960 and again from 1966 until 1985 when Don held administrative positions at Humboldt State University. She was preceded in death in 1985 by her husband of 42 years. After Don’s death, Joyce continued to live in Arcata and became a longtime volunteer for Mad River Community Hospital, Hospice, and delivered Communion to homebound parishioners of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church. She enjoyed spending time with a close group of friends. A highlight of her life was a gift from all her children for her eightieth birthday - a trip to Rome and the Vatican. She was accompanied by her son Don, and her grandson Doug and his wife, Anna.

Joyce was a devoted mother and wife. She provided the foundation for her family while encouraging Don to continue his advanced education and educational career. Some of her strengths as a mother included being able to instill a value system in her children that focused on being supportive of one another and being contributing members of the community. Joyce enjoyed looking at house designs and being a bargain hunter. Antique shopping was a favorite pastime. She and Don were not afraid of a challenge. They built a two-story home on their own when they lived in Arcata from 1956 - 1960. They only used contractors for some electrical and plumbing work.

Her family wants to express their gratitude to Visiting Angels Jo Ann Rossen and Jennifer Cline for their love and care of Joyce. Her quality of life was greatly enhanced by the care provided by Jo Ann and Jennifer.

Joyce is survived by her children, Sally Nelson (Gunnar) of Redding, California; Don Strahan of Cottage Grove, Oregon; Tim Strahan (Debra) of Fortuna, California; Peggy Ridlon (John) of McKinleyville, California; Mike Strahan (Sue) of Rio Dell, California; and Mary Callens of Arcata, California.

She is survived by grandchildren Gary Nelson (Dana), Mike Nelson (Lyra), Doug Strahan (Anna), Stephanie Strahan, David Strahan (Cherilyn), Kristina Peel (Michael), Craig Callens, Faith Hansen (Evan), and April Hubner (Brian). She also is survived by twelve great grandchildren.

The oldest of three children, she is preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Bud, a sister, Gloria, and a great granddaughter-in-law, Rhyne Callens. Her surviving sister, Joan McDermott lives in Elk Point, South Dakota.

Reciting of the Holy Rosary will be at Paul’s Chapel in Arcata on Wednesday, December 29 at 7:00 pm. A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata, on Thursday, December 30 at 12 noon followed by interment at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Eureka. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Mad River Hospital or Hospice of Humboldt County. Arrangements entrusted to Paul’s Chapel.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joyce Strahan, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
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December 29, 2021

7:00 PM
Paul's Chapel
1070, H ST

Funeral Mass
December 30, 2021

12:00 PM
Saint Mary’s Catholic Church
1690 Janes Rd
Arcata, CA 95521

December 30, 2021

7:00 PM
St. Bernard's Catholic Cemetery
3975 Broadway Street
Eureka, CA 95503


Hospice of Humboldt
3327 Timber Fall Court, Eureka CA 95503
Tel: 1-707-445-8443

Mad River Hospital
P.O. Box 1115, Arcata CA 95518-1115

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