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February 22, 1934 ~ January 30, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Joan Margaret Wahlin Miller Wensloff was born on February 22, 1934 in the little village of Rindal in Polk County, where her father was manager of the local creamery. Growing up with four brothers toughened Joan and prepared her for the eventual marriage to a notorious Miller twin and the task of raising three boys of her own.
After achieving the status of Homecoming Queen, Joan graduated from Fertile High School in 1951. Following graduation, she attended Moorhead State Teachers College to become an elementary teacher. An interview with the Roseau School Superintendent convinced Joan of the glories of the Roseau School system and the village of Roseau. Joan came to teach grade three. After her first year of teaching in Roseau, her destiny was sealed when she met Jerome Miller and knew immediately that fate had brought them together. They were married in August of 1957 at Faaberg Lutheran Church in Rindal. Headlines read “Fertile Girl Marries Falun Boy.”
Jerry and Joan lived in Malung township on Jerry’s grandfather’s farm. The fact that Joan was able to stay sane living with a teasing husband and three rambunctious boys is a testament to her strength. A continual daily stream of neighbors and friends would gather around the kitchen table for lively visits. Joan often stated “This is just like a restaurant!” There was always coffee ready for any visitor at any time of the day or night. Joan substitute taught for many years in the Malung and Wannaska elementary schools. When students would learn of Mrs. Miller’s upcoming visits, shouts of “Mrs. Miller is coming tomorrow!” would be heard in the hallways of the country schools.
Her educational skills were put to use at home as she always told her sons to think on a higher level. She gently tried to instill her kindness, patience, love, and intellect in her children.
When Jerry passed away in 1999, Joan took time for herself to pause, reflect and recover from losing her best friend. She traveled to see family and also went to Europe. Around this time, a neighbor, David Wensloff, himself a widower and a local legend, attempted what quickly became a successful courtship as they were very much in love and were united in marriage in June of 2003. Joan took on four more children of whom she was equally proud.
Joan spent the last twenty years traveling with David, tending her flowerbeds, quilting, and enjoying her many grandchildren. She felt blessed to have David as a partner and friend. Joan was always ready with an update as to what Netflix or PBS show she and David were watching.
In 2022, Joan was overjoyed and in disbelief when she was blessed with her great grandson, Colter. “I never thought I’d live to see it!” He always brought a glimmer to Gram’s eye and a smile to her face, especially in her final days.
Her wit, wisdom, and strength were renowned far and wide. Joan’s infectious laugh and calm demeanor were appreciated by everyone who met her. Her faith never wavered, and it helped her and her family weather many storms.
Joan was active in Pine Grove Lutheran Church, Roseau Hospital Auxiliary, Malung PTO, Cancer Drive, Northern Lights Concert Association, and staffing The Nook.
Joan passed away on January 30th, 2024 at her home in Malung. She is survived by her husband David, brother Joe (Joyce) Wahlin; children Joel (Sue) Miller, Scott (Cheryl) Miller, Mark (Brienne) Miller, Tracey (Kathy) Wensloff, Theresa (Jon) Carey, Troy (Yvonne) Wensloff and Todd (Leslie) Wensloff; grandchildren MollieRae Miller, Zachary Miller, Samuel Miller, Julianna Miller, Pacey (Alyssa) Miller, Abbie Miller, Kate Wensloff, Becca Wensloff, Danny Wensloff, Jackie Anderson, Rachie Anderson, Elizabeth Carey, Patrick Wensloff, Zach Wensloff, Ben Mangum, Isaac Wensloff, Aaron Wensloff and Eli Wensloff; great-grandchild Colter James Miller, and several sisters/brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews.
Joan was preceded in death by her husband Jerome; parents Fritz and Olga; brothers Robert, John and Kenneth; nephew Reid, and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
A Memorial Service for Joan Wensloff of Roseau, MN will be held on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 11:00AM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau, MN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Interment will take place at Falun Cemetery at a later date.