Joan Grefsrud, 93, of Hawley, MN, died Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at Mahnomen Health Center, Mahnomen, MN.
Joan Marie Meyer was born January 20, 1929, to John and Adeline (Nelson) Meyer. She grew up on the family farm near Hitterdal, MN and graduated from Hitterdal High School in 1947. After high school she attended business school in Detroit Lakes, MN and worked as a secretary in the Fargo-Moorhead area. In 1950 she met the love of her life, Raymond Grefsrud. They were married March 22, 1952 at Eksjo Lutheran Church, during a major spring blizzard, with only the wedding party, the pastor and a few relatives in attendance. They made their first home while farming near Hitterdal, and six years later moved to the Rollag area to take over the Grefsrud family dairy farm. During the first eleven years of their marriage, Joan and Ray welcomed five children into their family. Being a helpmate to Ray’s work on the farm and a loving and devoted mother (and later grandmother) were the centers of Joan’s life. Years later Joan’s love of her own children and grandchildren led her to become a foster grandparent at the Hawley Elementary School. For the next 25 years or so, “Grandma Jo” was well-known at the school and loved by all, teachers and children alike. Joan also volunteered at the Hawley Library and participated in various church and women’s groups. In 2020, the Hawley Lions named Joan Hawley’s Outstanding Senior Citizen in recognition of her substantial contributions to the community. Joan also enjoyed bowling and was active in Volksmarch for a number of years. In June 2021, Joan moved to the Normandy Apartments in Twin Valley. She missed the Hawley Community but made many good friends who took such great care of her.
Her beloved Raymond’s death on August 25, 2012, left a huge hole in Joan’s heart, and she deeply missed him every day.
Joan is survived by her children, Jody (Paul) Benshoof, Bemidji, MN, Jolee (John) Habedank, Twin Valley, MN, Roddy (Shanna) Grefsrud, Hawley, MN, Rollin (Tracye) Grefsrud, Hawley, MN and Joni (Joseph) Walker, Plymouth, MN; grandchildren, Galen (Teresa Mozur) Benshoof, Sam (Laura Hausmann) Benshoof, Peter (Courtney) Habedank, David Habedank, Megan Grefsrud, Johanna (Raghu) Raghavendra, Dan (Anne) Grefsrud, Jake (Laura) Grefsrud, Ethan Grefsrud, Katie Grefsrud, Hannah Walker and Nathaniel Walker; great-grandchildren, Lucy, Emma, Jackson, Oliver, Lincoln, Maya and Mason, and sister, Janet Burns, Detroit Lakes, MN. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Raymond, and siblings, Aileen Malakowsky, John Meyer Jr., Nathan Meyer, Janine Nelson and Juanita Leno.
In remembrance of Joan’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to the Solem Lutheran Church organ fund or other favorite charity of the donor’s choice
Visitation will be Tuesday, December 27, 2022, from 4-6 P.M. with a prayer service beginning at 6 P.M., at Wright Funeral Home in Hawley, MN.
Funeral service will be Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at 11:0 A.M., at Solem Lutheran Church, rural Hawley, MN. Interment will be in the church cemetery.