Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

JoAnne Marie Erickson Sand

BESSEMER, Mich. - JoAnne Marie Erickson Sand, 67, of Bessemer, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at her home, surrounded by her loving family.

JoAnne was born on Feb. 13, 1956, at Divine Infant Hospital in Wakefield, to the late Carl (Kala) Edward Erickson and Gloria Delphine (Liikanen) Erickson.

JoAnne graduated from A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer, after which she served in the U.S. Army, most recently at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. JoAnne then attended Gogebic Community College, where she earned a degree in food service. She valued the time she worked at the Alpen Inn on Big Powderhorn Mountain after graduation. She later obtained her certified nursing assistant certification at Gogebic Medical Care Facility, where she would eventually retire from. JoAnne took a great deal of pride in taking care of others at GMCF and spoke frequently and very highly and lovingly of her time spent working there.

JoAnne was very sisu strong, being a single mother of two girls, Stephanie and Ashley. JoAnne worked extremely hard to make sure that her girls had everything they needed. They never went without, learned a strong work ethic and acquired a great love and appreciation for the little things in life. With the help of her mom, Gloria, and her companion, Brian Fafford, who took care of Stephanie, JoAnne lovingly made numerous trips traveling with Ashley to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis, for a physical disability. Once the visits slowed in frequency, JoAnne devoted all of her time to working and taking care of her girls. Many treasured trips were made to her sister, Bonnie's, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to enjoy close by venues like Great America and the Milwaukee Zoo.

During the last few years of her employment at the Gogebic Medical Care Facility, JoAnne finally met the love of her life, Roy Sand. They joined in marriage on June 26, 2009. JoAnne and Roy enjoyed many loving years together until his passing on Sept. 14, 2020. They cherished the days they shared together during their retirement years. The two of them were always busy and on some sort of adventure. Adventures with their beloved dog, Bootsie, family and friends, and on outings on their four-wheeler and later their side-by-side, as well as traveling to the Wausau, Wisconsin area and West Bend, Wisconsin. They lived life to the fullest together right up until Roy's passing. Shortly after Roy's passing, JoAnne lost Bootsie. JoAnne never really fully recovered from Roy and Bootsie's deaths. A sweet puppy, Gizmo, then became Joanne's treasured companion, and will remain with her family.

JoAnne is survived by daughter, Stephanie Erickson (Kevin) Hall, Bessemer; grandchild, Mackenzie Hall, Bessemer; stepgrandchild, Ethan (Shakeal) Hall, Green Bay, Wisconsin; great-grandchildren, Ruby and Olive; daughter, Ashley Erickson (Marko Djukanovic), Chicago; stepdaughter, Caroline Sand (Christopher) Isit; grandchildren, Zackary, Anita, Tony, Christopher and Nikia Isit; sister, Bonita Erickson (Andres) Zamora, Kenosha; brother, Gordy (Linda) Erickson, Wausau; and nieces and nephews, Bradley, Sierra and Lindsay Erickson, all of Minnesota.

Besides her parents and husband, JoAnne was preceded in death by her special father figure, Brian Fafford; stepson, Richie Sand; and many other beloved relatives.

The family is planning a celebration of JoAnne's life at a later date in the spring/summer of 2024.

Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield, is assisting the family with arrangements. To send online condolences or to share a memory, please go to