Joan Reiland, a woman with a song in her heart, a dance in her step, a smile on her face, a contagious laugh, and always a helping hand to offer.
Our mother passed away June 12-21 at 91 years of age. She was born on September 20, 1929 to Joe and Alice Pawlak and resided in La Crosse all of her life. She is survived by her children: Julie (Brian) Kendall and their sons, Adam, Andrew, and Kyle; Jenny (John) Schroeder and their children, Ben (Vicky) Schroeder and their children, Rex and Cammi; Jake Schroeder, and Ali (Ted) Zieman and daughters, Avery and Luella; Jan (Joe) Kaminski, and daughters Anna (Nic) Oswalt and their children, Brooklynn, Hunter, and Kensington, and Carly (Kolby) Schlueter and their daughter, Alina; Joni Morford and her children, Michael and Tessa; John (Amy) Reiland; and Joe (Leslee), and their children, Anthony and Jay. Joan is also survived by her sister Norene Rochester. She was preceded in death by her two elder sisters, Betty Clark and Mary Jean Coleman, and grandson, Nicholas Reiland.
After graduating from Central High School, she attended UW-La Crosse. One fine day while working at Garvalia’s China Shop, she caught the eye of handsome shopper Jack Reiland. They were married in 1952 and celebrated 65 years of marriage before Jack passed away in March, 2020.
Joan lived an amazingly full life and was always so thankful for her family and the many blessings in her life. She was a warm and loving mother. She made the most out of every day, becoming clever and creative in so many ways, helping her stretch the budget to provide necessities for the family. She was known for burning the midnight oil sewing holiday dresses and coats, Barbie doll clothes for her young daughters and neighborhood friends, and making curtains for every room in the house. She had a knack for crafting whimsical holiday projects to the delight of her children. Our fond childhood memories are endless!
Joan, known as “Granny”, was a fairytale grandmother, from planning activities to adventures, she brought the fun to every family gathering. She enjoyed sewing, knitting, tennis and playing cards, especially Zioncheck and Spoons. Granny loved to climb the bluff and to go tobogganing well into her 70s, laughing and screaming all the way down the hill. Baseball was her favorite sport, traveling numerous times with her sons to Reds and Brewers games, to UW-L spring training trips, and on Buckley Baseball Tours.
When daughter Julie worked at the “Y”, she encouraged her parents to join a Social Dance class they were offering. They signed up along with several friends and they ended up enjoying it so much, traveling to polka fests around the Midwest became a highlight in their retirement years. Watching them float and fly over the dance floor was a sight to behold! They appeared as polka dancers in the movie “Grumpier Old Men”, doing the Chicken Dance in the Oktoberfest scene.
Joan was very kind and thoughtful and was always looking for ways to help others. She spent numerous hours in her retirement years doing volunteer work for Meals On Wheels, WAFER, and then at Franciscan Skemp Clinic for 21 years. Joan had a very friendly and outgoing personality and made friends everywhere she went, reaching out to strangers.
The family feels blessed with all the wonderful care Joan received over the years within the Eagle Crest Senior Communities: Eagle Crest, Bethany on Cass, Hearten House, and Riverside Transitional Care, and then finally, Mayo Hospice. The people they employ are second to none, being competent, compassionate, caring, and loving. Each person truly treated Joan like family and we will be forever grateful.
For those who wish to contribute to her memory, memorials can be sent to Roncalli Newman Center in LaCrosse or to Mayo Hospice in LaCrosse.
The visitation will be held at Roncalli Newman Center, 1732 State Street, beginning at 1:00 PM on Friday, June 18, with the funeral Mass at 3:00 PM. Rev. Billy Dodge will officiate with internment to be held in Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse, Wis.