Joyce D. Richardson of Long Valley, South Dakota, died on Saturday, January 1, 2022, at Monument Health in Rapid City at the age of 75.
Joyce Diane Mansfield was born on May 4, 1946, in Gordon, Neb., the daughter of Wilders (Bill) and Berniece (Beanie) Mansfield. Joyce grew up on the family ranch southeast of Long Valley, running the creeks, riding horseback and living the life of a ranch kid with her brother Jim and her cousins, Jack, Billy and Ray. Joyce always bragged that she could do anything those boys could do, a can-do attitude that served her well in her entire life.
Joyce worked for several people in the Long Valley area during her high school summers. She worked for her Aunt Joyce and Uncle Donald Handcock, helping to feed the men on the Handcock Farm, and she also worked for Dan and Selma Holcomb at the Long Valley Store. Joyce graduated from Bennett County High School in 1964 and attended South Dakota State University in Brookings.
Joyce was united in marriage to Reed Richardson on July 29, 1967, in Martin. They moved to Texas as Reed served in the US Army, where they made good friends with other Army couples by playing cards and socializing. After returning to South Dakota, Joyce returned to college, attending Black Hills State College, graduating with her teaching degree in 1971. This began a life of service where the can-do attitude served her well. Joyce taught all grades early in her teaching career, beginning at the one-room Garner School west of Wanblee. Joyce mostly taught the middle school grades, which she did at the Wanblee Public School and the Long Valley Grade School. She began teaching in 1971, and resumed her teaching career in 1994, at Long Valley, retiring in 2011.
In between teaching stints at Wanblee and Long Valley, Joyce joined Reed at their home place southwest of Long Valley, where they built their house in 1973. They raised cattle, sheep, horses, goats and most anything on four legs. In addition to helping Reed and Uncle Wayne Ireland build their house and establishing a household, Joyce could be found in the corrals, in the lambing or calving barn or anywhere else. Their ranch was like their marriage- a partnership that succeeded and endured for their entire adult lives.
Family was the main point of pride for Joyce in her life. She was proud of all of her family and her happiest moments were when she was with family. Joyce and Reed adopted their son Ryan Reed in 1972, followed by Valerie Ann in 1974. From a young age, Joyce was an active mom with a long list of titles. She was a Sunday School and VBS teacher at Our Savior’s Lutheran in Long Valley, a leader for the Lil’ Rascals 4H Club and a board member for the Kadoka School District. When Valerie and Ryan began to show interest in rodeo, Joyce and Reed were all in. Spring and summer nights were for rodeo practice with the Handcock, Sharp and Good families and weekends were for traveling to 4H rodeos all over South Dakota as a family. Joyce was incredibly proud of Ryan and Valerie’s rodeo careers from junior high all the way through college and onto the PRCA circuit with Ryan.
Starting in 2002, Joyce gained the title of GRANDMA, and for the last 19 years, being a grandma was at the center of her universe. She was very quick to brag on Reed, Lanie, Reece, Maxx, Charlee Rae and Rollie. From the time the grandkids started showing animals, playing baseball, basketball, football and doing track and rodeo, Joyce was there to watch and cheer on her grandkids. When Joyce and Reed bought the Long Valley Store in 1996, they had no idea how much of a role the store would play in raising their grandkids. The grandkids drove the tread off of the old tricycle tire doing laps in the store, with Reed and Joyce looking on with immense pride and unconditional love.
Joyce taught everyone around her about true strength and courage in the face of adversity with her health. In November of 1995, Joyce, Reed and Ryan survived a house explosion and fire with minor injuries and burns while Valerie was away at college. Joyce actually slept through the explosion and had to be awakened by Reed to evacuate the house! Whether it was her battle with rheumatoid arthritis, a brain aneurysm or her stroke in 2012, she never let her health issues dominate her incredible soul, her sparkling eyes or her dimpled smile. Joyce lived a complete and full life, free of regrets with a deep faith in Jesus Christ as her savior. Whether she was bottle-feeding a bum lamb, watching her kids perform in the rodeo arena from behind a video camera or watching the grandkids compete from her wheelchair or on her couch with her dogs Annie and Oakley at her side, Joyce’s heart was full and her soul was and always at peace with the Holy Spirit watching over her, in the company of her angels.
Joyce is survived by her husband Reed Richardson, Long Valley; her son Ryan (Fallon) Richardson, Long Valley; her daughter Valerie (David), Long Valley; six grandchildren Reed, Lanie, Reece, Maxx, Charlee and Rollie; her brother Jim (Kathy) Mansfield, Norris; her sister-in-law Carol Duval, Helena, Mont.; her brother-in-law Vern (Roxy), Long Valley; her aunts Curly Mansfield, Hot Springs and Wilma Deboer, Oral; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and lifelong friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Bill and Beanie Mansfield, mother-in-law Gertrude Woodard and fathers-in-law Irvine Richardson and Hiram Woodard, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Mary and Bill Tieskotter, brother-in-law Gary Duval and nephews Darin and Kevin Duval.
Cards and memorials may be sent to P.O. Box 55 Long Valley, SD 57547.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 7, 2022, at the Kadoka City Auditorium with visitation one hour prior.
Burial will follow at the Long Valley Cemetery.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Kadoka.