Joyce M. Gorka, a resident of Sobieski, passed away Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, at her home in Sobieski, surrounded by her family.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, Sept. 21, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Sobieski, with Father Jimmy Joseph officiating and Father Leo Moenkedick and Father Dick McGuire con-celebrating. Burial was at St. Edwards Parish Cemetery in Elmdale.
Joyce was born March 3, 1947, in Flensburg, to the late Charles and Edith (Peterson) Goebel. She was united in marriage to John Gorka Oct. 19, 1963, in Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Little Falls. Joyce and John resided in Sobieski. She worked at the Elmdale Creamery for several years. In 1976, John and Joyce together bought the Swanville Locker, where they later started their well-known Gorka Catering Service with their famous fried chicken and barbecued turkey. In 1987, they purchased Herbies Bar in Sobieski, where they also started their annual Bear Ass Pig Feed. Joyce was always known for all of the cooking and catering for the many weddings, parties, church bazaars and special gatherings. She will be missed by many. Joyce will always be remembered as the most caring, loving, wonderful woman in the world, who was never seen without a smile on her face.
Joyce is survived by her husband of 50 years, John Gorka; sons, Dan Gorka of Sobieski, James (Tammy) Gorka of Little Falls, David (Missy) Gorka of Burtrum and Jason (Cary Blechinger) Gorka of Little Falls; daughter, Donna (Jay Horstman) Lukasavitz of Montrose; siblings, Edwin (Mary Lou) Goebel of Richmond, Eileen Rekowski of St. Cloud, Marcella (Tom) Haeney of St. Cloud, James (Roberta) Goebel of Mahtomedi, LaVerne Schaefer of Little Falls and Paul Goebel of Otsego; brother-in-law, Jerry Yanta of Little Falls; eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, four stepgrandchildren and one stepgreat-grandson.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Edith; brother, Fred Goebel; sister, Barbara Yanta; and her best friend and dog, Max.
Honorary pallbearers were Wyatt Gorka, Eric Rasmussen, Paige Landers, Heather Rasmussen and Gabriel Mrosla. Pallbearers were Darrin Gorka, Josh Gorka, Alicia Reece, Samantha Gorka, Kayla Gorka, and John Russell.