The memorial service for Joanne K. Thayer will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 12, at the First Presbyterian Church of Britton with Rev. Terrill Sorensen officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date in the Britton Cemetery.

Visitation will be 5-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at the Price Funeral Chapel of Britton.

Joanne passed away on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Wheatcrest Hills in Britton at the age of 85.

Joanne “Jo” Kay Aves was born on January 17, 1933, in Groton, SD, to Kenneth Paul and Donna (Gibbs) Aves. She started school in Groton, then moved with her family to San Francisco where she attended school for a few years. The family later moved to Aberdeen, where Jo graduated from Central High School.

After completing her education, she moved with her family to Britton where they owned and operated a grocery store. A young man working there caught her eye, and on December 23, 1952, Jo was united in marriage with Harvey Harold Thayer. After Harvey’s discharge from military duty, they settled in Minneapolis where Jo worked for a toy factory making Johnny Jump-Ups.

In 1972, the family moved to Britton and were engaged in many different business ventures. Jo worked as the bookkeeper for Thayer Ford, Thayer Motors, Thayer TV and Appliance, and NAPA and eventually had her own VCR rental business in Britton, with branches in Langford, Lake City, and Veblen. She continued the video business until the mid-1990’s.

Jo was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Britton. She also belonged to the American Legion Auxiliary and was active in the Red Hatters organization. Along with a group of other ladies, they were instrumental in establishing the Coteau des Prairies Ladies Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. She had a great love for birds and squirrels, which she always fed; and she enjoyed watching them play when they visited her backyard. She also enjoyed shopping, the lake (despite being terrified of water), and dogs. She never turned down a chance to eat ice cream.

As full as Jo’s life was with her business ventures and organizations, it was her family that came first and foremost. She played a significant role in and cherished spending time with her kids, grandkids, and eventually great-grandkids. Jo was a model mother. There was never a dish unwashed or a load of laundry left undone. Upon visiting her, you could expect a fresh glass of sun tea or pot of coffee and a dessert to accompany it. Nothing brought her greater joy than a family gathering at their Roy Lake cabin. She was devoted to her family, and in her last years, they repaid that with their love and devotion to her.

Grateful for having shared her life are her three sons, Brent (Becky) Thayer, Jeff Thayer (Azaria Agstman), and Scott (Jan) Thayer; her grandchildren, Jennifer (Jerod) Hudelson, Paul Thayer (Cyndy Grandpre), Lisa Murphey (Jared Pearson), Nicole (Henrico) Erasmus, Michelle (Levi) Peters, Dustin Hofer (Natalie Bahr), Laken (Michael) Atkinson, Tyler (Sheresa) Thayer, Landon Thayer (Kristen Baus), Dakota Thayer; 10 great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; four stepgreat-grandchildren; and a number of nieces, nephews, and their families.

Also having shared her life and now waiting to receive her eternally on the other side are her parents, Kenneth and Donna; her husband, Harvey; her daughter, Lori Hofer; and her sister, Ramona Pitkin.

The family suggests that memorials be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association of South Dakota, 4304 S. Technology Drive, Sioux Falls, SD 57106, or the donor’s choice.

Condolence may be directed to the family in care of Brent Thayer, Box 341, Britton, SD.

An online guestbook/obituary are available at

Marshall County Journal

PO Box 69, Britton, SD 57430
Phone: (605) 448-2281
Fax: (605) 448-2282