Joanne Eileen Odegard, 90 of Elgin, Iowa passed away Saturday, October 7, 2023 at Good Samaritan Society in West Union, Iowa. Joanne Eileen was born April 12, 1933, in Clayton County, Iowa to Charley T. Odegard and Lydia (Hofer) Odegard. She joined sisters and brothers: Gladys Martie, Floyd Odegard, Mildred Blau, Verna Nutting, Selma Dennis, Robert M. Odegard, Lavern Odegard, Glen Odegard and lone Nyberg. Joanne was the baby of the family.
Joanne grew up in the hills of Clayton County, south of Gunder, and lived in the Gunder/Elgin area all her life. She went to school at the Center School until she was in 8th grade. She did not like school and was glad when she was done. She was baptized and confirmed at the Marion Lutheran Church in Gunder. Pastor Strandjaard announced in his Confirmation sermon that lone and Joanne were the best students in his class. If you knew that Pastor, that was high praise, as he was quite strict! She was very proud of that!
Joanne loved to be around and helping her mother with whatever she could. If her mother sent her on an errand, Joanne would not dawdle-she would run instead of walking to do her task. Joanne was always efficient in everything she did.
When she was young, she, lone and Glen got to be mail haulers. When the roads were extremely bad, the regular mailman would pay them each a dollar for walking the mail down the muddy roads for him.
She worked for Hellum’s in Elgin, then for Heying’s in West Union. She then started to paint houses, inside and outside. She was so neat and clean; she very rarely needed a drop cloth. You hardly knew she was there, except for the smell of the paint. She was known far and wide for her skill as a painter. She did her last painting project at 89 years old.
She built many pieces of furniture. She was able to use her neighbor’s basement for this, in exchange for Joanne mowing their lawn.
Joanne had the gift of visiting. She loved to talk and did to everyone she would meet. If she didn’t know them, she would by the time they left her. Always a friend and never a foe, she made many friends along her journey of life.
Her favorite meal was anything she didn’t have to cook! She didn’t like to cook and ate out for many of her meals. She loved a good cup of coffee.
She is survived by nieces and nephews: Glenda (Kelly) Koehn, Elgin, Iowa; Robert Odegard, Elgin, Iowa; Richard Dennis, Warrenton, VA; David (Christie)Dennis, Fayette, Iowa; Anna Dennis, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Susan Fauser, Clear Lake, Iowa. Also, many great nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral Service will be at 2:30 pm with a Visitation from 12:30 pm until time of service on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at Marion Lutheran Church in Gunder, Iowa with Pastor Marshall Hahn as the officiant.
Burial will follow at Marion Lutheran Church Cemetery, Gunder, Iowa.
Memorials in Joanne’s honor may be given to St. Croix Hospice, Elgin Legion or the Good Samaritan Society, West Union.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elgin, Iowa is assisting the family with services.