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Joni Kay Bruch

Joni Kay Bruch

On June 12, 2024, Joni Kay Bruch passed away after a brave battle with cancer. She spent her final moments the same way that she lived, with compassion for others, dignity, courage, and strength; and was surrounded by her loving family at the Hospice Suite in Sturgis.

Joni’s journey began in Webster, South Dakota, where she was born to Art and Junie Ornes. Growing up alongside her brother Duane, she not only learned Norwegian traditions, expressions, and food but also learned how to appreciate a good sense of humor, how to annoy her big brother, how to love with all her heart, and how to care for others.

Her dedication to caring for others led her to nursing school in Watertown, where she graduated in 1977. After a year of nursing in Watertown, Joni moved to Sturgis, where she found her calling as a nurse at Fort Meade VA Hospital. Later in 2000, she found her true passion specializing in hospice care which she did until she retired.  There, she helped veterans embrace their end-of-life journey with dignity. She was adored by her patients for the nurturing and loving care she provided. She became a trusted friend with whom they could share a good laugh and rely on in the most trying times. She didn’t expect praise for her hard work as she believed in always doing the right thing and giving it her best. Her compassion, integrity, and hard work earned her numerous awards and the respect of her colleagues, which she took with modesty.

Shortly after moving to Sturgis, Joni met Nick and being struck by his caring nature, his sense of humor and how “goofy” he can be, she married him. Their 44-year marriage was filled with laughter and adventure. Together, they raised three amazing daughters: Kasey, Courtney, and Christina all of whom married wonderful men who became her sons. But Joni’s heart knew no bounds – she welcomed Alina, a foreign exchange student, into their home to live with them for a year in 1997. However, this journey did not stop at one year, as Alina became their “other daughter” and an integral part of their family. Joni unconditionally, unselfishly loved all her children and supported them all her life through the many highs and difficulties of their lives.

After retiring in 2016, she enjoyed spending time in her garden, specially making her roses look perfect. She also adored spending time with her grandchildren, actively participating in their lives. Whether caring for them as babies, attending their sports events, or baking lefse together to instill Norwegian traditions and love in their hearts.

Joni embraced life with passion and humor. She believed in having fun, partying hard, and cherishing every moment. Yet, when someone needed her, she was always there – dedicated and serious. She was a loyal friend. Her two best friends Tammy and Debbie were like sisters to her, sharing countless memories, making each other laugh until they cried, and supporting each other through thick and thin.

Joni’s kind and thoughtful soul touched many lives. Her legacy lives on in the hearts of those who knew her, forever cherishing her laughter, kindness, and unwavering love.

The family expresses heartfelt gratitude to all the compassionate nurses and doctors that cared for her and were with her through her fight.

Survived by her husband Nick, step-mother Anita, brother Duane (Holly), daughters Kasey (Toby), Courtney (Austin), Christina (Colin) & Alina (Mihail), grandchildren Sophie, Brynleigh, Easton, Aydyn, Sydney, Emily & Nicholas.

The family invites friends and loved ones to join them in celebrating Joni’s life. Visitation will be at Kinkade Funeral Chapel, Sturgis, SD, Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., with a Rosary starting at 7:00 p.m.

The memorial service is Wednesday, June 19, 10:00 a.m. at St. Martin’s Catholic Chapel, Sturgis, SD. Graveside services will follow at St. Aloysius Cemetery in Sturgis.

Please keep Joni’s family in your thoughts during this difficult time.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.

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