In Memory of JoAnn G. Kuntz

November 9, 1930 - August 5, 2023

JoAnn Genevieve (Kraus) Kuntz was born on November 9, 1930 to Mary (Gefroh) and Bert Kraus on her family’s farm near Esmond, ND. She passed to eternal life on August 5th, 2023 in her home in Osceola, WI.

She had 5 half brothers, a sister, and a brother (who was stillborn). JoAnn was the youngest in her family and thus, held a special place in her siblings’ hearts.

While JoAnn was in high school, she met her future husband, Michael, when he agreed to take her on a date after her boyfriend couldn’t travel due to a snowstorm. Their first date was on February 8th, 1948 and it was love at first sight. They were married on June 15th, 1948.

JoAnn and Mike were blessed with seven children: Francine (passed away not long after birth), Michele, Teri, Mike Jr., Thelma, Barb, and Bob. Their family lived in many different areas, including: Montana, North Dakota, and Washington before eventually settling in Cottage Grove, MN in 1967.

In 1970, JoAnn and Mike purchased a cabin on Cedar Lake, WI where they spent most of their summers enjoying the lake. JoAnn loved to fish, camp, and spend time outdoors. JoAnn and Mike purchased an RV in the late 1970s, in which they enjoyed many trips throughout the country. In fact, they travelled to 47 US states in their RV. JoAnn was the navigator on each of these trips and often directed Mike to veer off the main highway and experience new adventures. JoAnn and Mike were also able to visit Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and more together. They enjoyed dancing- ballroom, square dancing, and especially polka dancing. Mike also shared his love of baseball with JoAnn. They enjoyed watching baseball games, visiting numerous Major League Baseball stadiums, volunteering at local baseball games, and befriending numerous “big names” in baseball.

In the early 1980s, JoAnn and Mike purchased a winter home in Arizona where they lived until Mike’s passing in 1995. JoAnn continued to call Arizona her home until 2001 when she moved to Osceola, WI.

After moving to Osceola, JoAnn volunteered at Osceola Elementary School, Osceola Hospital, St. Anne’s Catholic School, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and stayed active politically. The Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway played an important part in JoAnn’s life; she spent many hours volunteering on the trail and even played Mrs. Claus at the Roundhouse at Christmas time. Her love for baseball also continued when she moved to Osceola as she spent 17 years keeping score at the home games for the high school baseball team her son coached.

JoAnn is preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Mike, her parents, brothers, sister, infant daughter, son-in-law, and dear friend, Forrest Stuempges.

JoAnn is survived by her children: Michele, Teri, Mike (Patty), Thelma (Mitch), Barb (Joe), and Bob. She was blessed with 13 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

A special thank you to Diane Wolf for spending time with JoAnn, compiling stories of her life, and sharing the journey with all of us.

Last Update: Aug 07, 2023 3:43 pm CDT

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