Jean Beaudoin

Joan G. Beaudoin, 88, Dickinson, N.D. died Feb. 9, 2013 at St. Benedict’s Health Center, Dickinson.

beaudoin_jPosted Feb. 14. 2013

The Herald

She died as she lived: with dignity and grace.

Her Mass of Christian Burial was held Feb. 14, 2013 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Dickinson.

Joan Georgia Steffes was born April 20, 1924 to John and Bertha (Kott) Steffes in Mohall, N.D. Joan and her mother moved to Dickinson where Joan’s mother was a cook for South Hall and Stickney Hall at Dickinson State Normal School Campus. Because Joan could not immediately live on campus with her mother, she lived with the sisters at St. Joseph’s convent for four years. As a fourth grader, Joan started school at St. Patrick’s and caught the eye of the new boy: Willard Beaudoin. It was love at first sight for Willard and 11 years later he married Joan July 26, 1944 while he was home on leave from the Navy during WWII. They started their life together running City Cab Company in Dickinson. Sometimes for 16 hours a day, Joan operated the phones for the drivers as the calls came in. Willard and Joan later purchased the Home Furniture store. In the last few years, as their stage curtain business grew, Joan could be seen pushing the scaffolding so Willard could reach the top curtains.

Fourteen children were born to Joan and Willard. Joan kept a home filled with faith, love, laughter, music, picnics, books, sewing projects, and traveling. Impromptu concerts were apt to break out during dishwashing, Medora picnics, holiday celebrations, and all family get togethers. Joan’s soprano and Willard’s baritone often sang together “Let the Rest of the World Go By.” Grandchildren and great-grandchildren continue the joyful tradition. Joan’s hand stitched quilts were treasured by her children and grandchildren. Each quilt was designed uniquely for the recipient; she was adamant that the quilts be used and not put on display or stored in a closet. Those quilts and the love with which they were made provided much warmth. Her Christmas handmade nightgowns were also treasured gifts.

Summer picnic preparations were legendary: rice krispie chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and dessert were all packed in a big cooler to be taken to Green River, or Rocky Butte, or Medora. In addition, she always took a large Mason jar filled with hot soapy water and a rag…….just in case one of the family members got a little messy. Joan’s greatest joy was giving to her family. Her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren are a lasting testament to her love and hard work.

Joan is survived by her sweetheart of 68 years, Willard, 13 children and their spouses: Jim (Etty), Rick (Mary), Doug (Gail), Susie Kary (Ron), Dave (Deb), Maureen Gardner (Dan), Dan (Sandi), Mary (John Holden), Jeff (Julie), John (Beth), Julie Jacobs (Paul), Jeanie Goff (Mark), and Patty Riederer (Jim), 47 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.

A son, Donald Paul, preceded her in death in 1960. She was also preceded in death by her parents and five siblings: John Steffes, Mae Leach, George, Howard, and Harry Steffes.

Joan was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Church, a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, St. Frances Cabrini study club, and, St. Thomas the Apostle Apologetics study group. She also was active in her book club, and was a barbershop quartet wife for more than 55 years.

Joan received wonderful, loving care from the staff of St. Ben’s during the last year of her life. Thank you. In lieu of flowers the family requests that a memorial be given in Joan’s name to either St. Patrick’s Catholic Church or St. Benedicts Health Center.

“May angels lead you into Paradise…may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem…”

Ladbury Funeral Home, Dickinson, N.D. was in charge of arrangements.

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