Joyce Anne Buethe

March 11, 1947 ~ May 21, 2022 (age 75)


Joyce Anne (Hawkins) Buethe passed away on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in Lincoln, NE at the age of 75 years. She was born on March 11, 1947 in Vallejo, California to Forrest and Barbara (Scronce) Hawkins. She was born a couple months earlier than anticipated and was not expected to live. However, she was nursed back to health by a loving mother, a crib made from a hotel dresser, and goats milk. Joyce was baptized in California.Because she was born into a military family, she moved often in her early years. She lived in CA for only a few months, Gering, NE four years, Mobile, AL for a year (where she attended Kindergarten). After her father left the service, the family moved to Long Lane, MO, to be near family. Joyce attended school from 1st Grade through 7th Grade, made many friends, and had many fond memories of spending time with her cousins and growing up on her parents' farm. The winds of change came once again when a decision was made to move, once again, this time to Tobias, NE, where her parents would eventually own and operate a hardware store. It is in Tobias where Joyce also finished her public education, graduating from Tobias High School, as a member of the Class of 1965. After graduation, Joyce enrolled at the Lincoln General Hospital School of Nursing, where she eventually earned her status as a Registered Nurse (RN). It is also during this time that she was introduced to her future husband, Willis Buethe. She worked at Lincoln General Hospital for a short time, until she was united in marriage on September 6, 1969 at the Tobias Community Church. Following the wedding, Willis and Joyce made their first home together in a small house in Elk Creek, NE.Later that year, Joyce began a new job at Johnson County Hospital, where she would work almost 44 years as an RN. She was one of the first nurses to work at, what was then, a new care facility in Tecumseh (Belle Terrace), and helped to establish the Johnson County Home Health Services department. In 1972 Willis and Joyce welcomed their first child, Brian. In 1976, Joyce gave birth to their "Bicentennial Baby" Daniel. As the family grew, so did the need for more space. Willis and Joyce purchased and moved to their farm along Highway 50 in 1979, which Joyce called home until the time of her passing.Despite having lived in so many places, and visiting many more, when asked where her favorite place was, she would quickly say Elk Creek. This is where she made many friends, raised her family, grew in her marriage and her faith. When she moved to Elk Creek, she became a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, where she received adult confirmation from Pastor Harold T. Stelzer on June 12, 1970. Joyce was involved in a variety of organizations and initiatives in and around her community including the Dorcas Society and Couples Club. She was also a long time member of American Legion Auxiliary Post #311 (Tobias). She helped to teach Confirmation Classes for years, helping young people to grow in their knowledge and Christian faith.Throughout life, Joyce modeled the heart of a servant. As a daughter, wife, mother, sister, citizen, etc. she was always looking for ways to help others. She did not shy away from hard work, even in her later years. She very much loved those around her and loved to share stories of her family with anyone who would lend an ear. She was a marvelous cook, a wonderful nurse, a fantastic mother, sister, friend and a loving Nana; but most of all, she was unwavering in her Christian faith, and prayed often that others may come to know her Lord and Savior. She will be missed in this place but is safe in the arms of Jesus.Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws Erhardt and Leora Buethe, brothers-in-law Douglas Fritts and Ronnie Buethe, as well as many other friends and relatives.She is survived by her husband of over 52 years, Willis Buethe; sons Brian (Michelle) Buethe of Grimes, IA and Dan (Laura) Buethe of Hickman; sisters Margaret Fritts of Murray, KY and Diane Uher and husband Bruce of Daykin; grandchildren Grace Buethe, Henry Buethe and Lilly Buethe; sister-in-law, Linda Buethe of Tecumseh, many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, and friends too numerous to count. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at the St. Peter's Lutheran Church, rural Elk Creek, Nebraska with Pastor Bill Cornelius officiating. The service will also be live streamed on the church's Facebook page. A link to the livestream is now available on Joyce's tribute wall. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Nebraska. The Nebraska Nurses Honor Guard will have a ceremony for Joyce at 7:00 p.m.Memorials may go to the family's choice.Interment will be in the St. Peter's Lutheran Cemetery, rural Elk Creek, Nebraska.Online condolences may be left @


May 25, 2022, 10:30 am
May 25, 2022, 12:00 am
St. Peter's Lutheran Church
71955 Highway 50
Elk Creek, NE 68348

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