Cover photo for Joy Hallanger's Obituary
Joy Hallanger Profile Photo

Joy Hallanger

April 17, 1961 — February 8, 2023

Joy Ann Hallanger passed into eternal life on February 8, 2023 at the age of 61 surrounded by her loving children, Austin and Kayla, and other family. She battled pancreatic cancer for six months. Her courageous fight included a three week stay at Hope4Cancer accompanied by her niece, Mariah, where she received and was coached to continue an intensive dietary regiment and alternative therapies. She spoke often of how blessed she was for this experience, no pain, and frequent, comforting visits from loved ones filled with conversation, prayer, laughter, and singing.

Joy was born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, to Marvin and Clair (Servais) Dax on April 17, 1961, the second in order with her three siblings, Kim, Charmaine, and Linda. A happy and curious girl, Joy could be found playing tether ball, mixing and matching clothes to dress up with her sisters and friends, roller skating around the block, or exploring town on her bicycle. She attended Washington High School where she excelled and enjoyed playing basketball, throwing discus in track and field, weightlifting, and playing her favorite sport, volleyball. She was also involved in AFS exchange program, Pep Club, Key Club, Student Council, and Girls Athletic Association. She also participated in 4-H, where she developed her love of sewing and gardening.

Joy was a dedicated, hard worker, good friend, and always willing to help others. During high school, she worked alongside her father at Hamilton Manufacturing Co. After high school, Joy worked for Kirby selling vacuums door to door. Being a firm believer in the brand, she bought a Kirby Heritage, the only vacuum she ever owned. Joy helped open and worked for McDonald’s in Two Rivers. After attending UW-Stout for a year, she moved to Connecticut to become a nanny. She then worked as assistant manager at Gingiss Formalwear and in the evening gown department at Bloomingdale’s. Her passion for fashion never faded. Her love for family and an aging father brought her back to Wisconsin in 1991.

Joy married Hans Hallanger at St. Therese in Milwaukee in 1994. While raising a family in Milwaukee, Joy graduated from cosmetology school and obtained her license. She loved sharing her talent of cutting hair with anyone that would sit in her chair. Joy loved her family and spent her time as a full time mom and homemaker from preparing meals to hemming and sewing clothes for herself and her family.

The family moved to Joy’s dream home in Hartland in 2002. It was the perfect canvas for Joy’s creative gifts, painting and decorating every room. She loved hosting gatherings, cooking, and making cakes for her children’s birthdays. She was always the life of the party with her warm, fun, and vibrant personality. No matter what, you could always expect a smile and joyful greeting.

Beginning in 2009, her life was challenging for several years but Joy demonstrated great strength and resiliency by never giving up and always looking at the bright side. Her generosity toward her children and others showed through more than ever.

Later, she lived in Menomonee Falls and then Pewaukee where she loved on her neighbors especially when leaving or coming back from her long walks. She always asked them how they were doing and was eager to help them in any way she could. When Austin and Kayla would visit, Joy would prepare a beautiful meal and sweet treat or they would take her out to a favorite local restaurant and go on walks together.

She loved spending time with her best friend, Jim Surprise. Together, they went to Mass, traveled, worked in his store, and installed equipment for customers. Jim blessed Joy with his warm presence and beautiful karaoke serenades. She loved seeing family and watching her nieces and nephews grow up. She adored and admired her parents' strength, grace, and faith, and would often talk to them for hours in person or on the phone. Joy learned of her diagnosis with cancer on August 15, 2022, Solemnity of the Assumption. She was a model of hope and courage through it all.

Joy is survived by her pride and joy, her children, Austin and Kayla Hallanger, her loving and faithful family, mother Clair Dax, brother Kim Dax (wife Christine, children Kolbe, Cecilia, Lucille, Damien, and Augustine), sister Charmaine Herbert (husband John, daughter Carissa and her husband Simon and their daughter Olivia), and sister Linda LaRonge (husband Steve, children Isaac, Mariah, Benjamin, and Joshua. She is proceeded in death by her father, Marvin Dax.

Joy’s favorite saint, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, guided her earthly journey. Joy naturally embodied her message of doing little things for the glory of God and having unconditional love for all. She will be missed dearly but we rejoice in our faith in the life of the world to come.

“I learned from experience that joy does not reside in the things about us, but in the very depths of the soul, that one can have it in the gloom of a dungeon as well as in the palace of a king.” - St. Thérèse of Lisieux

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2023, at St. Charles Catholic Church (313 Circle Drive) Hartland, WI with Fr. Ariel Orozco officiating. Family and friends are invited to visit directly at church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass. Burial will be in the Village of Hartland Cemetery-Upper Annex. Due to construction, the church kindly request visitors park in the northeast parking lot.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Joy’s Memorial Fund which will be utilized for her headstone ( Also feel free to share a note or story of how you met or knew her. Please pray for her soul. God bless you and may God’s love shine upon you and yours forever. We hope to see her again!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joy Hallanger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 16, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Add to Calendar

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

*Standard text messaging rates apply.


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