Johanne M. "Jo" Andrist, 71, Deering and formerly of Sawyer and Palermo, died on Friday, April 27, 2012, in a Minot hospital.
Johanne Marguerite Wright was born on July 16, 1940, on her family's 80- acre homestead in Major County of Oklahoma near Isabella, Okla., to John and Barbara (Johnson) Wright. Jo's father worked any jobs he could find and was often gone for days, leaving her mother to care for the chickens, hogs, milk cows and crops. Jo's first important role in life was to care for her younger brothers. Thus, began her lifelong journey of caring for others. When Jo was eight, her parents began custom harvesting. Because Jo's mom and dad often worked together, her role was to prepare meals for the threshing crew, which no doubt contributed to her masterful cooking prowess.
As her parents' custom harvesting operation took them farther north, they settled in the Deering area when her parents purchased some land in 1953. Jo graduated from Deering High School when she was only 16 years of age and attended Minot State University where she received her standard teaching certificate. Her first teaching assignment led her to Grenora where she met and fell in love with fellow teacher Franklin "Butch" Andrist. Jo and Butch were married in Deering on Aug.18, 1963.
Jo and Butch taught school in Chaffee, while he pursued his master's degree in education at North Dakota State University. In 1965, Jo and Butch moved to Palermo where she taught elementary school and he served as superintendent. In 1966, son, CJ, was born and in 1968, shortly before son, Jared, was born, they moved to Sawyer where Butch was superintendent. Daughter, Melissa, was born in 1970 and son, Justin, in 1972. Jo spent her six years in Sawyer raising her family and in 1975, they moved to Deering where she taught grade school and Butch served as superintendent. For all of her four children, Jo became "Mrs. Andrist" instead of "Mom" for a couple years because she was their teacher in grades three and four. Jo continued her education while teaching in Deering, receiving her bachelor's degree and principal endorsement from Minot State University.
Jo taught and also farmed with her husband in Deering until her retirement in 1994. Butch died on June 3, 1996, and Jo continued to live on her farmstead, embracing her new role in life as "Gramma Jo." Jo was proud and at peace on her farmstead, into which she had invested so much of herself. She loved nature and was especially fond of gardening and flowers. Her friends in the Petal Pushers Garden Club were a source of joy to her. She cherished her family, friends and above all, her grandchildren. Jo's faith was always important to her and continued to grow. She was a member of the Deering Lutheran Church for nearly 37 years. Jo was very welcoming, accepting and forgiving. Her legacy will be "Here is my Heart."
Johanne's loving family includes her children, Melissa (Rick Stevenson), C.J. (Corrina Lavallie) and Jared (Pam), all of Minot, and Justin (Debbie) of Christchurch, New Zealand; grandchildren, Steven, Emily, Kelsea, Jesse, Samuel, Ceri and Jacob Andrist; step-grandchildren, Cody, Warren, Jodi, Sheena, Sasha, Taylor and Holden; step-great-grandchildren, Lilly, Kaj, Kinah, Dustin, Nathaniel, Christian, Illijah and Jade; siblings, Charlene (Steve) Haskins, J.R. (Diane) Wright and Wayne Wright; sisters-in-law, Sheila Wright, Marlys (John) Elliott, Kay Andrist and Ardith Andrist; brother-in-law, John Andrist and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins who were all so very special to her.
Johanne was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brothers-in-law, Cal and Willie; sister-in-law, Elaine; and step-great-granddaughter, Leighanna.
Funeral Service: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at 1 p.m. in Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot.
Graveside Service: Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in the Deering Lutheran Church Cemetery.
Visitation: Tuesday from 2 until 7 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials are preferred to the Deering Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, American Cancer Society or the donor's choice.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).