Joyce Bloom


(June 21, 2009)

Surrounded by her family, Joyce Elaine (Swenson) Bloom died Sunday morning, June 21 at her home in Powell after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 77.

Funeral services for the long-time Powell resident will be conducted Thursday, June 25 at 10 a.m. at Union Presbyterian Church. The Rev. George Pasek will officiate at services and burial in Crown Hill Cemetery under the direction of Thompson Funeral Home.

With her death, Powell lost one of its greatest community boosters. Joyce was affiliated with the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce for 20 years, serving in every capacity as secretary, office manager, administrative assistant, interim manager and then executive director from 1990-1996.  She retired in March of 1996, having guided the chamber during Powell's downtown renewal project and the naming of Powell as one of 10 All-America Cities in 1994.

She was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the Powell chamber at her retirement.

She was born Joyce Elaine Swenson in Dickinson, N.D., on Nov. 25, 1931, the daughter of Roy Leonard Swenson and Mildred Lucille Swenson. She attended local schools and then hometown Dickinson State Teachers College, graduating in 1951 with a teaching degree.  Her alma mater honored her in 1998 with the Dickinson State University Golden Hawk Award, the highest honor given to an alumnae of the institution.

Joyce accepted a first grade teaching job in the Powell schools which brought her to Powell in late summer 1951. She taught first grade at Parkside School for six years and did substitute teaching for two additional years before concentrating on raising her two young children.  She returned to the workforce in 1977 when she became chamber secretary.

She and Keith Bloom were married June 23, 1953, at  Dickinson, N.D.  She died two days prior to their 56th wedding anniversary.

Joyce was active in her church and in many organizations. She served as both a deacon and an elder at Union Presbyterian Church, chaired the Christian education,  stewardship and nominating committees of the church session and sang in the church choir.

She was a 51-year member of Chapter P of the P.E.O. Sisterhood and held every chapter office, twice serving as president. In 1975-76, she was elected president of the Wyoming State Chapter of P.E.O. She was an international convention delegate for P.E.O. in 1963 and 1976.

She was also a member and past president of Epsilon Sigma Alpha Sorority.

Her community involvement was extensive. She was a member of the Country Christmas Committee from 1990-1996 and started the Christmas Tour of Homes as a Country Christmas event. Even after her retirement as chamber director, she chaired and continued to serve on the Christmas Tour of Homes Committee.

Joyce served on committees to celebrate Powell's 50th Jubilee in 1959, the 75th anniversary in 1984 and the 2009 Powell Centennial.  She was a founding director of Park County Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and served as a member of the Park County Jail Selection Committee. Her support for local history was demonstrated in her service as a member of the Park County Museum Board, the Friends of Park County History Board, and the Park County Historical Commission.

She was a charter member of Powell Fine Arts Club in 1973, a past president of the organization and had belonged to the group ever since. She was a member of the Park County Selective Service Board for 14 years.

In March of 2009, an annual award to a Wyoming high school athlete who overcomes adversity was renamed the Joyce and Keith Bloom Courage Award by the Wyoming Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, in recognition of her courageous fight against cancer.

Her family will remember her for her smiles, her love for others, her kindness and care for family and her community.

Survivors include her husband Keith of Powell; a son and daughter-in-law, Jon and Cindy Bloom of Green River; a daughter and son-in-law, JoyAnn (Bloom) and Gregg Bessler of Powell; three grandchildren; three brothers and sisters-in-law, Wayne and Lois Swenson of Bismarck, N.D., Ronald and Millie Swenson of The Woodlands, Texas, and Ward and Nancy Swenson of Theresa, Wisc.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Lucille Swenson; and her parents in-law, Carl and Minnie Bloom.

Pallbearers at the funeral will be Jon Bloom, Gregg Bessler, Jerry LaFleiche, Matt Streicher, Bill Farthing, Dave Bonner, Rod Castle and Jim Castberg. Honorary pallbearers are JoyAnn Bessler, Cassidy Maines, Cindy Bloom, Brennae Bloom and Skyler Bloom.

For those who wish, the family would appreciate memorial gifts to Dickinson State University, 230 8th Ave. West, Dickinson, ND 58601; or to a charity of choice.