Dean and Joyce Bliss are dedicated friends of Central Lutheran. Although no longer living fulltime in Minnesota, they have deep and lifelong roots in the congregation.
Dean’s parents (Don and Bertha) were married at Central. Dean was baptized and confirmed at Central . He remembers as a youth attending the cornerstone laying of the Sunday School Building, the Parish Building and, as an adult, the Commons Building. Dean received an associate degree from Anoka Ramsey Community College and a Computer Technology Certificate from Control Data Institute. He also attended St. Olaf College. He worked mainly for the U of M Hospital, installing and maintaining computer equipment.
Dean and Joyce were married at Central Lutheran in 1977 after meeting at a Koinonian meeting (a CLC young adult group). Their two boys were baptized, confirmed and married there, and two of three grandchildren were baptized at Central. One son, Paul, is an engineer with Boeing in Seattle, and son Mark is a mechanical engineer in the Twin Cities. Paul has a daughter, Amelia, and Mark has two daughters, Arden and Willa.
They are now Arizona residents, have an associate membership at Central Lutheran and spend the summer in Minnesota. When in Arizona, they watch the Central Sunday service online, then attend Desert Hills Lutheran in Green Valley where they are active in various groups.
At Central, Dean has been involved in the Cherub Choir, Little Singers, High School Chapel Choir, Call Committee, Parking Lot Committee, Communications Board, Fiscal and Properties Committee, Sound and Light program, Bell Tower sub committee and Funeral Reception Committee. While a teenager, he was active in Luther League and attended Youth Conventions both in Miami Beach in 1961 and in Detroit in 1964.
Originally from Watertown, South Dakota where she attended Grace Lutheran Church, Joyce graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. She received a library science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she attended Bethel Lutheran Church, and moved to the Minneapolis area for a job as librarian at Nelson Elementary School in Columbia Heights. When that school closed, she moved to Valley View Elementary and is now retired.
She has been involved as a Sunday School teacher, Bible School Teacher, Circle of Friends, Funeral Reception Committee, Church Council, Choir, Hand bell choir, and Quilting.
She and Dean have been meeting monthly with 11other Koinonian couples for 42 years, including Julie and Gary Anderson from CLC. They usually fly back to the Twin Cities for the December meeting of this group.
Joyce and Dean are Legacy Partners, having included Central Lutheran Church Foundation in their estate plans because “Central Lutheran has been such an important part of our lives, and we love everything about it-the music, preaching, outreach. We are willing to drive a distance to church and also listen to the service when we are gone during the winter to stay connected.”
Central Lutheran Church Foundation is grateful to Dean and Joyce for their dedication to the mission of Central Lutheran.