JoAnn Quale, of Williston, formerly of Fargo, New Town and Keene, died Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home, Williston.
JoAnn Carol Quale was born July 23, 1957, in Watford City, North Dakota to George and Lillian (Pederson) Quale. Her grandmothers lived with the family until the time of their deaths. JoAnn loved the family she grew up in. As she grew older this love was extended to her in-laws, nephews (or Rug Rats, as she called them until they were adults) and her great-nephew (also, a Rug Rat). JoAnn was baptized and confirmed as a member of First Lutheran Church of Keene.
JoAnn spent the first two years of her life living in Watford City. The family then moved to the Quale farm at Keene where she spent her childhood years. School was easy for JoAnn. She attended country schools, Reservation and Hawkeye, through the sixth grade. JoAnn went to junior high and high school in New Town, where she graduated co-salutatorian in 1975. She was a National Merit Scholarship winner. It was during this time that the family moved to New Town. JoAnn attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., where she graduated with honors, studying computers long before they became a part of our everyday lives. In 1992, JoAnn received a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Moorhead State University. She studied virtual reality before others began to understand what virtual reality really was. JoAnn received a second master's degree from the University of Mary, Bismarck. JoAnn was a member of Mensa education extended beyond textbook learning. While in high school she read an article in the newspaper, and went to check out square dance lessons, an activity that most of her family members later got involved with. After college she became a certified EMT and later was on-call while at work at the college or while attending college events. For fun, she took Tae Kwon Do lessons and earned a black belt.
JoAnn worked entering data from banks after they closed at night for a short period of time right out of college. JoAnn was hired as a systems analyst at that time and had worked for Concordia College for more than 30 years before cancer made it necessary for her to quit working.
It was in junior high that JoAnn became involved in music which had always been a big part of her life. She started playing clarinet in the band. She and a friend would practice and play duets way into the night. This led to traveling, another of her interests. She traveled to Europe, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Lichenstein, France and Belgium with the band and chorus from the International Peace Garden even playing her clarinet on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., representing the state of North Dakota in 1976. She continued to be in a band throughout her college years.
JoAnn's next big trip to Europe was on a May seminar to Western Europe after graduating from college.
Traveling and helping others were an important part of JoAnn's life. JoAnn's first Habitat for Humanity trip took her to St. Croix where she helped rebuild a home and work with an orphanage. Later Habitat trips took her to places like the Philippines and Africa, New York City and a women-only building trip in Montana. She chaperoned several projects with students from Concordia College and worked on several projects in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Education came from a different direction when she went to China to help teach children English. She joined a church choir in Fargo that was going to Estonia to sing as part of a mass choir. She sponsored an orphaned child in Africa for many years. Norway, Sweden and Australia were places that she traveled to for fun and to celebrate several of her birthdays.
"Perform random acts of kindness" was a motto that she liked and lived by. She was kind to family and friends alike. JoAnn helped a friend move to Chicago and later to Alaska. She went to Idaho to participate in a bike ride to raise money for multiple sclerosis. This past summer she handed out water bottles to bike riders and runners who were participating in the Fargo Marathon. Her home was always open to others and she made her guests feel as if her home was their "home away from home."
JoAnn was a dreamer. She worked hard to make her dreams come true, through education, working hard, being a good co-worker, a good neighbor, traveling and making the world a better place. JoAnn lived her life to the fullest extent. She never made plans to start dying. JoAnn lived as long as she could, she didn't let her cancer slow her down. JoAnn participated in two different studies for the treatment of brain cancer in the hopes that it would help others in the future. JoAnn and two college roommates and her neighbor went to Minneapolis to see "The Lion King" this past January. Seeing the Twins play at Target Field, watching Xanadu at Chanhassen Dinner Theater and taking a trip to Washington, D.C., were all done this past summer. JoAnn had hoped to go to Machu Pichu this coming spring and would have liked to go to Antarctica.
JoAnn had years filled with family, relatives, friends, neighbors, roommates, studies, culture, traveling, good deeds and faith in God and his son, Jesus Christ.
JoAnn had seen the following quote on Facebook and had shared it with a friend: "Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I can be the biggest hypocrite ever. I backslide. I stumble. I fall. I stray onto the wrong path. But, God is working in me. I may be a mess, but I'm His mess. And he is slowly straightening me out. And the day will come when I will be by His side. His work is completed. And until that day, I will take His hand, and let Him do in me whatever needs to be done, no matter how painful it will be for me. When He is finished, it will all be worth it."
JoAnn will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
JoAnn is survived by: her sisters, Linda (Martin) Hanson, Zahl, and Judi Quale, Bismarck; brother, Gary (Beverly) Quale, Williston; nephews, Ryan Quale, St. Louis Park, Minn., Nicholas Quale and Eric Quale, both Williston, and great-nephew, Riley Brenno-Quale, and Aunt Olga Reese. Also mourning her are lifelong friends, Sharon Ellingson, Lynnae Johnson Landin, Nancy Weiser, Mary Thrond and Mike Synstlien.
Her parents and grandparents preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be celebrated at Keene First Lutheran Church Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 2 p.m. Rev. Rob Favorite and Rev. Kevin Beard will officiate and she will rest internally next to her parents in the churchyard cemetery, Good Hope.
Friends may call at Fulkerson Funeral Home in Williston on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and one hour before services at the church in Keene.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at (www.fulkersons.com).