Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Joyce K. (née Barna) Koehler

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Joyce K. (née Barna) Koehler, originally from Ironwood, Michigan, and a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls passed away peacefully on Nov. 17, 2021.

Joyce was born on July 9, 1942, to Charles and Bernice Barna of Ironwood. She graduated from St. Ambrose High School in Ironwood, and then ventured off to Milwaukee to stay in a boarding house and work for Wisconsin Bell (Ameritech/At&T), which would be her lifetime employer until 1984 when she retired. In 1972 she married John (Jack) Koehler and they bought a house and settled in Menomonee Falls, where they lived for 49 years.

Joyce loved animals of all kinds and at one point she and Jack had five dogs and four cats. She loved to feed all the animals that lived in the fields and woods surrounding their house — racoons, coyotes, turtles, birds — basically any critter that showed up.

In retirement, Joyce poured her energy into crafts, helping her friend Chris run a business selling dried flower arrangements at craft fairs. Joyce was also an expert knitter and blessed her nieces, nephews and friends with numerous “Joyce original” sweaters and blankets. Everything Joyce did was with passion and plenty.

Joyce is survived by her nieces and nephews, Brenda (née Barna) (Jim) Hernday, of Oshkosh, Paul (Cherie) Barna, of Texas, Michele (née Barna) Andre, of Green Bay, James Barna, of Colorado, and Gina Barna; and numerous cousins, great-nieces and nephews.

The family would like to give special thanks to the Aurora Zilber Family Hospice for their kind and compassionate care of Joyce in her last days.

A short celebration of Joyce’s life has taken place at the Schmidt and Bartelt Funeral Home in Menomonee Falls on Monday, Nov. 22. Visitation was held. Joyce is to be buried alongside Jack and her parents at Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood, Michigan, in the spring of 2022.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Waukesha County Humane Society in memory of Joyce.