Writing Clerical 04

Joyce Marlene Sasse

May 21, 1940 ~ February 28, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old



Joyce grew up in Milk River, Alberta and was active in the United Church of Canada from a young age. Summers were spent at Canyon Church Camp in Waterton where she started to develop her leadership skills. From a young age, Joyce knew she wanted to be a United Church Minister.

As a young adult, she first studied in Lethbridge at the Junior College. While there she realized her passion for writing. She began writing editorial columns for the Lethbridge Herald and went on to write many columns and articles, books, and plays.

Joyce continued her studies at St. Andrew’s Theological College and ultimately achieved her Master of Divinity. She was the only woman to graduate in the class of 1965 and only the second woman to graduate from college at that time.

After graduation she went to South Korea for 4 years as a missionary, teaching English and working with the YWCA. This experience left her with strong impressions and many stories to tell.

On returning to Canada, Joyce became director of the YWCA in Saskatoon. She went on to be the “Saddlebag Rural Minister” for two Southern Saskatchewan ministries. She returned to Alberta to be closer to her aging mother and found herself in Rockyford with a large rural ministry. She served as Pincher Creek United Church Pastoral Charge minister from 1989 to 1996.

Joyce retired in 1996, continuing to pursue her, “get on with life”, interests. She wrote spiritual columns for the Pincher Creek Echo, the Western Producer, and the Fort Macleod Gazette. She published four books on her rural ministry work. She wrote and produced three plays about the life and times of Kootenai Brown, Father LaCombe and Anora Brown. Her plays shone a spotlight on the legacy of these individuals who advanced the rural development of Southwestern Alberta. In recent years she worked to bring Anora Brown’s artwork back to the attention of Canadians.

In 2021 Joyce was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from St. Andrew’s Theological College.

Joyce Sasse passed away peacefully in Pincher Creek. She is survived by her sister Gloria Dyrdra, cousins Bev (Ken) McCoy and Noreen (Michael) Blackmer, and nephews Steven Sasse and Michael Sasse.

A celebration of life was held at the Pincher Creek United Church on March 16, 2023. 

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Celebration of Life
March 16, 2023

1:00 PM
Pincher Creek United Church
972 Police Avenue
Pincher Creek, AB T0K 1W0

Video is available for this event


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