Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Joan M. Wesenberg

HURLEY, Wis - Joan M. Wesenberg, 87, of Ironwood, Michigan passed away Saturday Feb. 8, 2020, after a lengthy battle with COPD at Villa Maria nursing home with a loving family holding her hand as she took her final breath.

Joan was born on Dec. 21, 1932, in Ironwood, the only child of Oden and Esther (Mickelson) Walquist. She attended Roosevelt school and Luther L. Wright High School, graduating with the class of 1951. Joan worked as a secretary for A.R. Munari Insurance Agency until 1955, and a hostess at the Towne House Motor Inn, Blackjack, and Powderhorn. While working as a dining room manager at Alpen Inn and Caribou, she also was an aide and later a teacher at the Quantity Foods Program at Gogebic Community College for the GOISD. Joan retired from work after 22 enjoyable years. She loved the fast-paced lifestyle at the ski hill and made so many great friends while she was there.

On Aug. 29, 1953, she was united in marriage to Donald E. Wesenberg of Ironwood at St. Luke's Church by the Rev. Hanser. They were married for 62 years. Donald preceded her in death in 2015.

Joan was an active member of Salem Lutheran Church and former member of St. Luke's Church. She served as a member of the Altar Guild, Funeral Committee, WELCA, Christmas Cookie Exchange fundraiser, and church quilter. Joan loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren more than one person should. She never missed a volleyball game, football game, basketball game, baseball game, music/band concert, track meet or dance recital. She enjoyed her cottage at Lake Superior, hosting birthdays, 4th of July, snowmobile, and cross-country skiing parties. After selling the cottage, Joan spent many summers camping primarily at Lac du Flambeau with the added benefit of a nearby casino. She loved spending time outside, mowing and gardening her beautiful yard and Hydrangea trees. She had fun going to theater productions around the area. Travels took Joan to California, Mexico, Las Vegas, and many other exciting places.

Surviving are their four children; sons, Scott and Mark (Robyn) of Ironwood and Jeff (Barbara) of Ironwood Township, Michigan; and daughter, Patricia Packmayer (Joe) of Ironwood, Michigan; seven grandchildren, Carrie (Ryan) Philippon, Surprise, Arizona, Nikki (Daniel) Tucker, Haslett, Michigan, Krystal (Steven) Wallin, Canton, Georgia, Nicholas (Maggie) Samardich, McFarland, Ryan Wesenberg, Elk River, Minnesota, Brandon (Katie) Wesenberg, Junction City, and Jacob Wolff, Little Chute; eleven great-grandchildren, Kylie and Mason Philippon, Penelope, Mara, and Lucy Tucker, Greyson and Jamesen Wallin, Zayden, Londyn, Colt and Cruz Samardich; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; Wednesday dinner partners, George Samardich and Yvonne Novascone; and special daughter-in-law, Joanie Krueger Wesenberg.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, Feb. 15, at 11:30 a.m., preceded by a 9:30 –11:30 a.m. visitation, at Salem Lutheran Church in Ironwood with Pastor Nicole Hanson-Lynn officiating. Luncheon will follow at the Elk and Hound Restaurant, on Country Club Road, in Ironwood.

Private interment will be at Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood, Michigan in the spring.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood. Condolences may be given to Joan's family online at