Joanne had a wonderful childhood in Morris MN, with her mother Estella, father Odin, and adored sister Louise. Her father Odin tragically passed when she was 9.
Joanne graduated from Morris High School in 1947 as salutatorian. Not only brainy but also athletic, she swam in the Aqua Follies in 1959, which took her on a train tour of the west.
Joanne worked at KSTP as a secretary until she married her high school sweetheart, Woodrow Winge. Three children came along: Lynn, Greg and unexpected surprise Nancy. :) After Woodrow’s death in 1970, the family returned to Minnesota. Five years later, Joanne married Jack Clausen and they merged two families, Brady-bunch style.
Joanne continued working as an outstanding secretary until she retired from Wells Fargo at age 65. Upon retirement, Joanne traveled the world (standby) with her daughter Nancy and sister Louise and sang in many choirs. Wherever Joanne lived she joined the choir, harmonizing with the Saint James Church choir since 1970, and entertaining millions of seniors performing in the Showtimers.
Joanne was not only fun loving and adventurous but kind and extremely giving, receiving the Volunteer of the Year award. She will be deeply missed by her 3 children, 5 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, and many friends, relatives and choir members. She will be welcomed by her adoring sister, husbands, parents, and of course, heaven’s choir director!
Mom and I wrote this obituary four years ago. She was not afraid of death, and we spoke often of her wishes. Mom was a frequent visitor to Utah. She lived with us during the pandemic and expressed that if she moved here she wanted to maintain her independence. We moved her into an assisted living facility 14 months ago. She fell in love with the Wasatch Mountains and made many new friends. She never stopped giving, listening, and inspiring everyone she met. However, her heart was always in Minnesota, and she would teach everyone how to say MinnEsOOOta correctly.
Joanne suffered a sudden stroke and was taken to the University of Utah Hospital where she was surrounded by our family and cousin Scott (Louise’s son). I had the privilege of being with her at 2 am when she took her last breaths, while we played her favorite songs, “Que Sera Sera,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and “On Eagles Wings.”
Her wish was to be cremated and returned to Minnesota to be buried next to Woody, his mother, Beatrice Winge and father, Maurice Winge at the Crystal Lakes Cemetery. We will be having a celebration of life for Joanne in the summer of 2023, at a date to be announced.
One can only hope that they would live a life as rich, healthy and long as Joanne. We will miss her beyond words.
Nancy, David, Patrick, and Daniel McNally
Life Story Info
Touched by the myriad of photo's you took the time to sort through and deem worthy of ones farewell pictures. The final one was cute, Joanne holding a glass of drink as a salute to the world and for death yet to come.
It reminded me of the Johnny Cash song "Hurt":
What have I become
My sweetest friend?
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
Good bye darling, you had a sweet ride on this blue jewel... Thanks for coming to play here.