Joanne Ellen (Deal) BigginFebruary 7, 1941 ~ October 27, 2017 (age 76)
Joanne Ellen (Deal) Biggin passed away suddenly Friday, October 27, 2017. She was born in Tracy, MN on February 7, 1941 where she lived with her family. She studied food service at the University of Minnesota and went on to work at hospitals in Litchfield, Bemidji and St. Louis Park. She met the love of her life Donald Malcom Biggin, Jr. on a blind date arranged by her dear friend and sister-in-law Roberta Seefeldt, they married on April 20, 1968 in Tracy. They lived in Texas, Germany and Kentucky while Mal served as a Command Sergeant Major in the US Army and then moved to Akeley in 1979.
Joanne and Mal owned and operated Spring Bay Farm Campground on 11th Crow Wing Lake where they lived with their children Doug and Donna. They operated the campground for many years making life-long friends during this time. Upon closing the campground Joanne and Mal spent time traveling during the winter months to the southern states and a trip to Alaska pulling their travel trailer.
Joanne’s faith and her church were very important to her. She was a member of Akeley United Methodist Church. She was involved in UMW, church council, mentoring, choir and many social and fundraising activities.
Joanne was also passionate about volunteering at the WHA schools known as “Grandma Joanne” by her students. She started by volunteering when her grandchildren were in school, later leading to one day a week, which soon became four days a week. She loved her school family and enjoyed the time she spent with them.
Joanne enjoyed staying active, she never missed her early morning step aerobics class and recently started yoga. She enjoyed her yearly trip to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan with family and friends. She also became quite an international traveler over the past years visiting Ireland, Italy, Canada, as well as South Carolina, Alaska, Northern California, Washington DC, New York City and most recently she took her family (11 total) on a 6 Day Caribbean Cruise that provided many cherished memories. She was looking forward to many more travel adventures.
Family was very important to Joanne. Come rain or shine or snow she was very involved in watching all sporting activities for her children and grandchildren. She attended and actively cheered at many basketball, volleyball, hockey, football and baseball games…if it was important to the kids, she was there.
Joanne is survived by her children: Doug (Jill) Biggin of Bemidji, Donna (Dave) Strandlie of Walker; grandchildren Zachery, Megan, Ethan, Kellen and great granddaughter Kylie; brother, Harold (Jacqueline) Deal; sister-in-law, Roberta Seefeldt, nieces and nephews Brad, Steve, JoEllen, Kent, Julie, Susan, Sarah and Matt; dear friend, Shirley Roberts; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Joanne was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Mal in 2010; sister, Wilma Bosch; brother-in-law, Norman Bosch; brother-in-law, Lyle Seefeldt and nephew, David Deal.
Funeral services for Joanne will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Akeley United Methodist Church in Akeley, Minnesota. Visitations will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at Northern Peace Funeral Home in Walker, MN and for one hour prior to services on Thursday morning at the church. Pastor Loren Firch will officiate. Pallbearers for Joanne will be Brad Bosch, Steve Bosch, Kent Bosch, Zachery Strandlie, Ethan Biggin, Matt Seefeldt and Neil Gotschall. Interment will be in Akeley Cemeteryat Akeley, MN immediately following Joanne’s Thursday Service. Memorials preferred to Akeley United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 292, Akeley, MN 56433 or WHA Elementary School Playground Fund, P.O. Box 4000, Walker, MN 56484.
Joanne’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com.