Joyce U. Dreyfus (nee Unke)

May 28, 1927 Ė March 15, 2012

Joyce U. Dreyfus, the former first lady of Wisconsin, passed away peacefully while surrounded by her loving family Thursday, March 15, 2012, at the age of 84.

Joyce was married for 60 years to the former governor of Wisconsin (1979-1983), Lee Sherman Dreyfus. She was born May 28, 1927, the daughter of Harry A. and Ethel M. (nee Mitchell) Unke.

Joyce graduated from Washington High School in 1945 and later attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and obtained her Bachelor of Art in education. Joyce became a teacher within the Stevens Point school system. She was active in numerous volunteer and civic organizations. Joyce was a dedicated member of P.E.O. and a member of St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Waukesha. She had a passion for the arts and during her time as the first lady, she helped establish the first Governorís Award for the Arts in 1981. During that time, Joyce also oversaw and led the fundraising and renovation campaign for the governorís executive residence. She had a love for reading, poetry and the arts. More than anything, Joyce loved spending time with her family and she was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Joyce will be lovingly remembered by her son, Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge the Honorable Lee S. (Susan) Dreyfus Jr. of Waukesha; her daughter, Susan (the Rev. James S.) Dreyfus Fosdick of Eagle River; her grandchildren, James Fosdick Jr., Christopher Lee Fosdick, Jennifer Susan Fosdick, Kathleen Dreyfus Bardunias, Lee Sherman Dreyfus III and Clare Bluett Dreyfus; her seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, other family and friends.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Ethel, and her loving and devoted husband of 60 years, Lee Sherman.

A visitation for Joyce will be from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday, March 18, at the Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. A second visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. funeral Mass on Monday, March 19, at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 111 E. Main St., Waukesha. The Rev. David Simmons will officiate the service. A private family interment will be at Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha, immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated by the family to St. Matthias Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, 111 E. Main St., Waukesha, WI 53187.

Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For an online obituary or to leave a message of condolence, please visit For more information, please call 542-6609.