Joyce Van Ness

June 3, 1940 – Feb. 24, 2019

On February 24, 2019

Joyce Myra (Zimmerman)

Van Ness passed away

peacefully surrounded by

family and friends.

Joyce was born to Oscar

and Lydia Zimmerman on

June 3, 1940, and was

raised on a farm outside

of Lehr, ND. It was on the

farm in Lehr that Joyce

would learn the value of

family and hard work.

She graduated from Lehr

High School in 1958 as

the class Salutatorian. She

went on to further her

education at Jamestown

College where she gra-

duated in 1962 with a de-

gree in Teaching and Ger-

man Studies, and then

went on to Florida State

University where she

achieved her Masters De-

gree in German. Joyce

made her way back to her

roots in North Dakota,

and took her first job in

Edgley, where she taught

History and German.

In July of 1971, she

married Richard (Dick)

Widme in Las Vegas, NV.

The couple resided in

Minot, where Joyce taught

at Minot State College.

She and Dick briefly relo-

cated to Fargo but moved

back to Minot the day

their son was born in

1974. In the late 70’s she

began teaching German at

Minot High School.

After a “good run” the

union with Dick ended

and they were divorced in


In late 1979 Joyce met

the love of her life,

Lawrence (Larry) Van

Ness, and they married

December 20, 1980 at

Christ Lutheran Church.

Throughout the 1980’s

and until her final retire-

ment in 2008 she taught

for the Minot Public

School System. She

taught German and later

in her career transferred

to Central Campus East;

where she oftentimes felt

her career was the most

rewarding as she was

teaching students who

were in need of extra help

and attention. Joyce also

taught Humanities at the

Minot Air Force base, as

well as helped close fami-

ly friend Duane Walter

manage his appliance ser-

vice. Larry and Joyce were

active members of Christ

Lutheran Church and

Metigoshe Ministries.

In 2008, Larry and

Joyce made the move to

San Diego to be closer to

Dan who was attending

law school. In 2013 they

relocated to Las Vegas,

NV where Joyce remained

until she passed.

Although Joyce hated the

heat of Vegas summers

she was a staple at Club

Madrid, where she had a

private booth to enjoy the

bands Dan mixed every

week. She loved live

music and enjoyed being

entertained, as well as be-

ing a second mother to

the crew Dan managed in

the club. She was an ac-

tive member of Christ the

Servant Lutheran Church

in Las Vegas, and partici-

pated in Bible study as

well as studied Norwegi-


She is survived by: her

loving son Dan (Jackie)

Van Ness, Las Vegas, NV

her stepdaughter Sarah

Van Ness Fort Worth, TX

and those that she loved

as her own children: Todd

Widme, Portland OR.,

Cheryl Widme, Portland

OR., Andrew Widme, Las

Vegas, NV., and Paul

Widme, Hugo, MN., her

Granddaughter Gianna,



Kameron, Colton, Isaac,

Gunnar, Haley, Taylor

and Oliver.