In Memory of JoAnn Pomerleau
JoAnn Pomerleau (Struck), age 70, passed away peacefully at home in Frederic on July 6, 2019, surrounded by her daughters and husband of forty-seven years, Lee. The second of eight children, JoAnn was born in Frederic, Wisconsin to parents, William (aka Junior) and Rosemary Struck. She spent her youth roller skating and working at the Rec Center, and, of course, tormenting her siblings. JoAnn loved reading and writing from an early age, and that carried on through her whole life.
After graduating from Frederic High School in 1967 (where she was prom queen!), JoAnn attended UW-River Falls. In college she and her hippie friends spent summers selling Encyclopedias door-to-door out West. Despite her goodie-two-shoes tendencies, she once got arrested for selling without a license! What a rebel! Just short of her degree, JoAnn took a hiatus from school in order to get more involved in the increasing anti-Vietnam War sentiment. It was in this period that she met Lee at the Luck-E Tavern in Luck, WI. In 1971 they drove to South Dakota and eloped because, again, JoAnn always did things her own way. They lived in both Arizona and Florida for a time before returning back to northwestern Wisconsin, where they had Katherine in 1975.
JoAnn completed her undergrad finally in 1980 from UW-Superior. She worked for many years as a social worker for Burnett county and then several group homes. She loved her work with at-risk youth and was dedicated to helping anyone who was feeling lost to find their way.
Years later, now with three children and living in Neillsville, WI, she went back to school to work on her Master’s degree in guidance and counseling, which she finished in 1996. The following year, upon returning to her hometown yet again, she started working as a mental health therapist. JoAnn made a career of offering a safe space for others to heal; it was her greatest gift.
JoAnn was one of the most caring, crazy, and hilarious people. She welcomed anyone and everyone to her house. Her kids often found their friends there without them, just visiting or having a cup of coffee with JoAnn and Lee. If any friends or other wayward youth needed a place to stay, they knew the Pomerleau house was always a place of refuge.
JoAnn did everything her own way, on her own time. This is a common theme in her life. She loved going to the casino, playing cards, reading a good book, watching (and recording) EVERY Brewers game, and spending time with her family, especially her two granddaughters. She was sweet and witty and silly and kind. Everyone who knew her seems to remember a hilarious thing (often fart related) that she did or joke that she told. These memories will serve us well as we try to move on without her in our lives.
All the Strucks have a knack for making their nieces and nephews feel like they were their favorite – JoAnn was no exception! She will be missed by so many family, friends, and colleagues. Her impression on our lives is immeasurable!
JoAnn is survived by her husband, Lee; daughter, Katherine Pomerleau and her husband Adam Beck of Minneapolis; daughter, Emilie Pomerleau and her husband Travis Cleveland of Pueblo, CO; daughter, Amanda Pomerleau of Minneapolis, MN; and her beloved granddaughters, Elsa and Cleo. She is also survived by her siblings, Janet, Susie (Bobby) Houston, Joel (Cary) Struck, Teri (Rich) Larson, and Julie Hall (Todd); sister-in-law, Lori Struck; aunt, Pat Bergman; and dozens of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
JoAnn was preceded in death by her parents, Rosie and Junior Struck; sister, Judy Kuchenmeister; brother, John Struck; great-niece, Savanna Bearhart; in-laws, Roy and Elna Pomerleau; nephew, Jeff Pomerleau; brother-in-law, Stan Gustafson; and brother-in-law, Bob Brewster.
In lieu of flowers, please consider helping the family cover JoAnn's final expenses.
Services for JoAnn will be held at 2pm on Saturday, July 13th at the Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren, WI. We will be saying a few words and sharing stories promptly at 2:30, followed by snacks and visiting.
Katherine, Emilie and Amanda Pomerleau
Arrangements are entrusted to Rowe Funeral Home.