Jo Ann Lainen, 93, passed peacefully in the arms of her daughters in her home on Round Lake on March 22, 2022. Her previous few days while still with us were spent with family and close friends with tender goodbyes. She is now with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and her husband, Bill. She was born Jo Ann Park on January 11, 1929 in Redwood Falls, MN, the daughter of J. Samuel and Nellie (Doyle) Park. In 1939 the Park family moved from Redwood Falls to a farm north of Tamarack, MN. She attended North Star School through 8th grade and graduated from McGregor High School in 1946. She was very active in the 4H Club, once winning a state competition in sewing. High school was followed by a 2-year Teaching Certificate from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1948. She taught 2nd grade at the Aitkin Elementary School for one year. She and her love, Bill Lainen, met at church in Tamarack and were friends for many years in the Tamarack/Mc Gregor area before uniting in marriage on June 18, 1949. They were blessed with a marriage of over 72 years, and their three daughters, Nancy, Karen and Peggy, and their adored grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jo Ann and Bill lived in Duluth following their marriage, raising their family, while Bill was employed as a teacher and elementary school principal with the Duluth School District for 32 years. The girls were fortunate to have Jo as a stay-at-home mom. She was actively involved with her church (United Baptist Christian Church), the church family, Christian Women’s Club, bridge clubs (both women’s and couples with Bill), neighborhood coffee clutches, and was a long time member of p.e.o Chapter CR in Duluth. She was a Girl Scout leader, a wonderful seamstress, cook, pianist and knitter (all skills she passed on to her daughters). She knit a baby blanket for anyone she heard was having a baby (too many to count). She was blessed with many friendships because she was a good friend. She was the “Hostess with the Mostess,” inviting guests for almost every Sunday dinner, particularly elderly women who had no other family. She hosted dinners for Bill’s faculty at times. After she and Bill retired to Round Lake she was involved in a variety of activities and organizations, often volunteering her time. She enjoyed pickling and canning the produce from their large garden, fish fries from Bill’s catches, hosting friends and family, and playing the piano for their church services for over 30 years. She and Bill enjoyed entertaining all guests, hosting their annual church picnics and baptisms in the lake, and loved traveling and camping all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She never wanted to be a “Snowbird” because she missed family and friends too much and didn’t want to be gone for long periods of time. Her faith, family and church family were always her priority. She was a beautiful soul, showing her love through giving, praying for, showing compassion and sharing words of wisdom (mostly truths from the bible). She was the best wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, great grandmother and friend anyone could ever ask for, always putting everyone else before herself. She never ceased praying for all of her loved ones. Jo Ann was preceded in death by her cherished husband Bill, her parents, beloved daughter Nancy Lainen Keussen, brothers Robert Park and Donn (Retta) Park, sister Marcia (Bruce) Hanson and special Grandma Doyle.
She is survived by daughters Karen Jarvi of Cloquet and Peggy Lainen Anderson of Duluth; grandchildren Matthew Jarvi (Melisa Davis) of Carlton, Nicholas Jarvi (Vicki) of Cloquet, Kyle Anderson of Tamarack, Kara Reimherr (Tim) of St. Paul, and Sathya Bush (Nathan) of California; great grandchildren Kaden Anderson, Haileigh and Logan Jarvi, and Orion Bush. Additional survivors are her favorite brother-in-law Bruce Hanson (Marlys Dobis) of St. Joseph and nephew Sean Hanson (Heather) and their triplet daughters of North Carolina, sister-in-law Retta Park of Arizona, nephews Duncan Park (Debra) of Missouri and Dean Park (Sarah) of California, and her adored French AFS student daughter, Francoise “Fouf” Guillaume (Bernard) of Paris, France. Beyond blood relatives, Jo Ann had a multitude of family and friends, both past and present.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 30th at the Tamarack Christian Church. Visitation will be at noon with a service at 1:00. A luncheon will follow at the Sno-Flyers Club in Tamarack. She would be pleased by memorials to Tamarack Christian Church or to charity of choice. All correspondence may be mailed to her McGregor address. Arrangements are with McGregor Funeral Home and Cremation Services in McGregor. www.srtfuneral.com
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