Wilbur Joy


Wilbur Duane Joy, 92, of Detroit Lakes, MN passed away on Friday, September 25, 2020 at Emmanuel Nursing Home. A Celebration of Wilbur’s life will be held on Friday, October 2nd, at 2pm at David-Donehower Funeral Home. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. If you are unable to attend and would like to watch the service, please visit our website at and click on his obituary.

February 12th, 1928 – September 25th, 2020

Wilbur Duane Joy was born February 12th, 1928 to William and Thora (Thorson) Joy at their home on Lake Sally. He was one of six children.

Wilbur graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1946. He was president of his graduating class. He was also involved in 4H growing up.

Because most of the men in America were off to war, Wilbur started working at the Fish Hatchery for the state when he was 15 years old. His father was the supervisor there.

Wilbur graduated from the United States Coast Guard on April 14th, 1952 as an Ordinary Seaman Wiper. However, after graduating the Coast Guard went on strike so he never got to continue.

Wilbur married Beverly Whaley February 21st, 1948. They had 3 children.

Wilbur married Sally Lawrence July 1st, 1954. They had 3 children.

Wilbur married Jayne Crawford March 6th, 1986.

Wilbur loved nature & the woods. He was an avid fisherman & hunter.

He was very concerned with conservation & history.

He was president of the Becker County Historical Society for many years & was honored with the 1st Community Historian Award on October 13th, 2011.

He was very involved with the museum & donated many items over the years.

He was involved in AA & the Alano Club for many years & always had an ear to listen & share his experiences.

Wilbur lived many places in Minnesota but his heart belonged to Many Point Lake where he spent a very large part of his life.

Wilbur is survived by 5 of his children: Sharon (Robert) Speiess of Detroit Lakes, MN, John Joy of Hawley, MN, William (Barb) Joy of Detroit Lakes, MN, Lori (Rich Boll) Joy of Vergas, MN & Nancy (Butch Dost) Karst of Frazee, MN; his siblings Leatrice Wirtz, Ronald Joy & Natalie Bellefeuille all of Detroit Lakes, MN; Wilbur has 7 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren & many nieces & nephews.

Wilbur was preceeded in death by his parents, William & Thora; brother William Joy; sister Eileen Henderson; brother in laws, Donald Wirtz, William Henderson & Keith Bellefeuille; sister in law June Joy; son Samuel Duane Joy; daughter in law Pam Joy; granddaughter Gina Summers & great grandson Jude Sandberg Summers.

In lieu of flowers Wilbur would prefer memorials to the Becker County Museum & Hospice of the Red River Valley.

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