Joan F. 'Joanie' Buchko


December 17, 2020

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Joan F. "Joanie" Buchko, 91, of Ironwood passed away on Dec. 12, 2020, at Westgate Nursing, Rehabilitation and Assisted Living Community in Ironwood.

She was born Sept. 6, 1929, in Ironwood, daughter of the late Oliver and Frances (Kutil) Surprenant, and graduated with honors at Luther L. Wright High School.

Joan was a member of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood and the former Holy Trinity Catholic Church. She valued faith, family, friends, baking, art and music. She could play the piano, accordion, and brach and was in the local Tamburitizian group. She was known as the "life of the party." Joan did a lot of volunteer work at the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Church in fundraising and in events that helped out schools, stunt night, hospital, and nursing homes. See related story Daily Globe, Aug. 17, 2019.

Joan worked locally as a telephone operator.

On May 17, 1952, Joan was married to Steve J. Buchko at Holy Trinity Church in Ironwood by the late Rev. Ambrose Matejik.

Joan is survived by a daughter, Mary Jo Dorpat, Maple Grove, Minnesota; two sons, Paul (Diane) and Thomas (Mary) both of Ironwood; nine grandchildren, Chris, Joe and Laura Dorpat and Francesca (Justin), Felicia, Anthony (Rebecca), Anna-Marie, Matthew and Martina Buchko; great-grandchild, Grace; brother, Ronald Surprenant of Ironwood; sisters-in-law, Margaret Souther, Brevard of North Carolina, Agnes Brody of Hurley, and Marie Surprenant of Ironwood; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by husband, Steve, on Aug. 24, 2015; son, Michael, on Sept. 11, 1988; and sister, Charlotte Kolesar on Feb. 15, 1999.

In accordance with Joan's wishes, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.

Private interment will be in Sunset Acres Cemetery, Ironwood Township.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Joan's legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute for Joan's family at


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