Inseparable couple was known for their loving, caring spirits

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 21, 2007 - 12:29 AM

Victor Gensmer was driving his wife to work early Sunday morning, as he almost always did.

Victor Gensmer was driving his wife to work early Sunday morning, as he almost always did.

"They were close," recalled Betsy Bossert, who worked with Joyce, 67, a nursing assistant at St. Anne of Winona Nursing Home. "If she had to stay late, he'd call, just to keep her company."

In nearly 35 years of work at St. Anne, Joyce Gensmer's reputation never changed. She worked nonstop until it was quitting time. Before leaving, she would ask if anyone else needed help, Bossert said.

And there was her smile. You couldn't find a friendlier soul, Bossert said.

"Great people, that's all I can say," said neighbor Jean Amundson. "Great people."

Victor was going to turn 80 Aug. 28 and Joyce was planning a celebration.

But sometime after 5 a.m. Sunday as they were driving home, the Gensmers' car dropped into a gap where water had washed away the highway.

The Gensmers had two sons, one of whom is autistic and was home alone when his parents died.

He was taken to a group home, Amundson said.

"They'll be missed," Bossert said of the Gensmers. "Joyce was here longer than anybody. It's hard to believe she won't be back."

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