ELIZABETH (JOIE) JOANNE WILLETTE, age 85, of Delavan, MN died Monday, September 22, 2014, at Laurels Peak in Mankato. Visitation will be Friday, September 26, 2014 from 5-7 PM with a 7 PM remembrance service at Spencer Owen Funeral Home, 345 6th Ave SE in Winnebago. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM on Saturday, September 27, 2014, at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth, with Fr. Peter Klein officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, SW Delavan. Web tributes may be left at www.spencerowen.com
She was born January 5, 1929, at Bismarck, ND, the daughter of L.E. and Ethel (McKee) Heaton. She attended school at St. Mary’s in Bismarck and graduated from the College of St. Benedict in MN. She was married to Michael Willette of Delavan on July 1, 1953 at Menoken, ND, while he was in the US Navy. Before marriage she taught for 2 years in ND. After marriage and children she was a substitute teacher in Delavan and Winnebago, tutoring for 9 years at the Winnebago Treatment Center.
She was a member of Mater Dorosa Catholic Church in Delavan, later SS Peter & Paul in Blue Earth and taught Religious Education for 22 years in Delavan. She was a member of the Delavan Garden Club, Delavan Book Club, Scribblers Writing Club, and the Mitchell Chautauqua Study Club in Blue Earth. She took great joy in leading, volunteering and participating in Poets & Storytellers and other events at DHS, and for fifty years was a farm wife in Prescott Township.
She is survived by her children, Kristin Willette of St.Paul, Amy (Steve Firkins) Willette of Black River Falls, Thomas (Rebecca) Willette of Ann Arbor, MI, Kate (Darrell) Fuller of Trimont, Althea Melisse Willette of Minneapolis, Jonathan (Cathy) Willette of Mankato, Molly (Joe) Reinemann of St. Peter, Megan (Larry) Kaduce of St. Peter, Allison (Paul Phifer) Willette of Hadley, MA; brother, Russell Heaton of McKenzie, ND, sister, Mary Gietzen of Glen Ullin, ND, sister, Geneva (Phid) Kurtz of Steele, ND, sister, Virginia (Lloyd) Benz of Steele, ND. Grandchildren: Amy: Ezra (Beth), Kelly (Pawel), Michael; Tom: April, Nathan, Aaron; Kate: Stuart, Jacob, Kimberly, Walter; Althea Melisse: Karen; Jonathan: Jackson, Shane, Lucas; Megan: Nolan, Kathy, Michael, Dan; Allison: Addison, Elliot. Great-grandchild: Kelly: Lydia; April: Abby, Lucas.
Joie was a woman of great strength, talents and a fierce love for her family. She was an influence to many, a poet and artist and a fantastic cook. The smell of bread baking, the
taste of a good soup, and flow of beautifully written words will forever remind us all of our Joie. She was preceded in death by her husband Michael.
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