Joanne Marie Ernst was born in Andrew, Iowa on December 31, 1930, the first of six children of Alva and Marie (Mohlenhoff) Daniels. She passed away with her 5 children at her side on her 90th birthday, December 31, 2020 in Harlan, Iowa.
Joanne graduated from Bellevue Public High School in 1949 and married the love of her life, George W. Ernst on May 3, 1952, in San Diego where George was stationed with the U.S. Marine Corps. Soon after, they were transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where they lived until George was discharged and they made their home in Bellevue, Iowa. There, Joanne became a telephone switchboard operator with United Telephone Company of Iowa, the same company that George worked for as a lineman. The first two of George and Joanne’s children were born in Bellevue and the rest were born in Avoca, Iowa, where the family moved when George was transferred in 1963. In 1969, the family moved to Harlan where raising a family of five was a full-time job but she managed to also work outside the home at Gambles Store and she sewed children’s clothing on contract.
Joanne was the daughter of farmers and the country is what she loved. She used the traits she learned on the farm to raise her own family in town...a strong work ethic, impeccable morals and the ability to fix anything from toys to electronics to tummies to broken hearts. She never gave up on anything or anyone.
She was an expert at canning and knew how to feed the family well with quarts and quarts of fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes and pickles that were used throughout the winter. She enjoyed fishing, something she got from her father, and passed that along to her sons and grandchildren. Joanne was artistic and sewed countless pieces for her family from wedding dresses to suits, baptismal gowns to car seat covers. She knitted and crocheted and painted decorations on woodcrafts made by George, making sure everyone in the family has precious keepsakes.
Joanne always made a loving home for her family, no matter what life handed her. She was the family rock. She loved nothing more than to cook big meals and to have her family nearby telling stories around the kitchen table.
Joanne and George leave a legacy of love and laughter and sweet dreams for all who were blessed to be part of their family.
Joanne is survived by three sons, Timothy (Jana) of Carlisle, Iowa, Thomas (Nancy) of Lincoln, Nebraska and Brian of Harlan, Iowa; two daughters, Georgiann Andersen (Robin) of Minden, Iowa and Brenda Arkfeld (Bill) of Portsmouth, Iowa; 14 grandchildren, Joshua Obrecht (Ilene), Daniel Ernst, Stephanie McDonald (Cory). Renae Frederick (Derick), Jeremy Ernst (Holly), Jennifer Sellner (Noah), Cassandra Ernst, Samantha Andersen, Teresa Arkfeld, Wyatt Andersen and Thomas, Haylee, Braydon, and Caleb Ernst; three great-granddaughters, Maya and Macy McDonald and Emersyn Sellner; sister, Norma Meyer; brothers-in-law Loren (Snooks) Medinger, Delbert Jackson, and Fred Stoecken; sisters-in-law, Loella (Babe) Carter and Bonnie Blake; and many nieces and nephews
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and siblings, Glenn (Bud) and Delbert Daniels, Janice Jackson and Nancy Medinger.
A family funeral service was held on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan. Pastor Phillip Nielsen presided over the service. The soloist was Jennifer Sellner. The readers were Renae Frederick and Teresa Arkfeld. The honorary pallbearers were Samantha Andersen, Cassie Ernst, Haylee Ernst, Caleb Ernst and Braydon Ernst. The pallbearers were Joshua Obrecht, Daniel Ernst, Stephanie McDonald, Jeremy Ernst, Thomas D. Ernst and Wyatt Andersen. Joann’s final resting place is at the Harlan Cemetery.
Fouts Funeral Home in Woodbine was in charge of arrangements. www.foutsfuneralhome.com