Joy Thorson has been a board member for three years and started a new term last November. What does she do in her spare time besides volunteer for the Cedar Falls Food Co-op? Since retiring from UNI (after 38 years) in 2015 she also volunteers at North Star Community Services spending time playing games and having conversation with the consumers that attend there. She was the Stage Manager for the last two productions that North Star has presented, Pinocchio and Shrek. She has also been active with both the Cedar Falls Community Theatre and the Waterloo Playhouse and has been in over 25 different plays in over 30 years. While every play has had a special place in her heart, one highlight was to play Ouiser Boudreax in Steel Magnolias along with an amazing cast of actors. “I love to make people laugh and that character certainly did just that.”
She is married and has two grown daughters, Andrea and Jessie, as well as four grandchildren. She enjoys attending their musical events and reading books to the young ones.
She had the amazing opportunity to travel to Tanzania twice. “It is certainly life changing to see how people live in that part of the world and to have the opportunity to see all the wild animals in their natural habitat. The animals were amazing, but I was deeply touched by the beautiful children living in the Shalom Orphanage and learning at Bashay Primary School. We certainly are blessed.”
She doesn’t talk about it much, but she is proud to say she is a 21-year cancer breast cancer survivor and a three-year metastatic breast cancer survivor. “While my energy may be challenged, I am emotionally engaged in family, friends, and our community. I am so sure that Cedar Falls should have a food co-op providing a very special grocery store that will enhance the future for our community, our local food producers, our local farmers, and the economics of the Cedar Valley that I am willing to give my energy to that purpose.”