Joan M. Halvorson

joan halvorson
Joan M. Halvorson, age 79 of New Hampton, IA passed away on Friday, July 11, 2014 at her home with her family by her side. She was born November 9, 1934, in Winneshiek County near Decorah, daughter of Alfred and Marie (Miller) Ehler. She attended several country schools and graduated from Lanesboro (Minnesota) High School in 1952. On November 6, 1954, Joan was united in marriage to Merle Norman Halvorson at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dubuque. They lived near Jerico for more than 47 years. During that time, Joan worked at Fairview Guest Home and did housekeeping upon her retirement. In 2007, Merle and Joan moved to New Hampton. Joan dedicated her life to being a loving wife and mother. Nothing was more important to her than spending time with her family. She enjoyed fishing, playing cards and was an avid Minnesota Twins and Vikings fan. Joan was a great cook, and her family looked forward to her many specialties—especially her dressing, barbequed spare ribs, pumpkin pie and lefsa. She also had the unique ability to yodel—something she taught herself how to do as a young girl while listening to the radio in the barn and milking cows. She shared her gift to yodel with her family and friends throughout her life. Joan was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Church and a member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 4069 of Alta Vista. Joan is survived by five sons: Gary (Pat) Halvorson of Alta Vista, IA, Jeff Halvorson and Paul Halvorson of New Hampton, IA, Pete (Leanne) Halvorson of Ely, IA, Bruce (Julie) Halvorson of New Hampton, IA; two daughters Shelly (Wayne) Gray of New Hampton, IA and Sandy (Dean) Reicks of Lawler, IA; daughter-in-law Lorna Halvorson of Elkhart, IN; one brother Donald Ehler of Chanhassen, MN; four sisters Bea Johnson of Waterloo, IA, Dorothy Hageman of Elk Run Heights, IA, Norma Jean Roloff of Dubuque, IA and Bernice Henry Johnson of New Hampton, IA; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Alger “Pud” and Arlene Halvorson of Eagan, MN; 18 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Merle; son Edward Halvorson; brothers, Linus and Cletus Ehler; brothers-in-law Carl Johnson, Al Hageman, Larry Roloff, Harold Henry, Calvin Johnson, James Halverson and Don Carroll; and sisters-in-law, Mary Ehler, Thelma Halverson and Arldine Carroll.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Another good soul goes home. Our sympathies to all of you from Ronald and JoAnne Anderson’s family.

  2. Joan was a wonderful person and will surely be missed by many. She’s with Merle now catching lunkers and having a wonderful time! So many great memories made during her lifetime.

  3. To the Halvorson klan, You all have our deepest sympathies! We have lost, truely, a wonderful woman! We have so many memories of your parents and mine, that we all can cherish. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. Leo and Bev Dowd

  4. We are sorry for the loss of your mother. We hope that her memories comfort you through this time. David and Jeanne Roder

  5. Shocked that Joan is gone so quickly
    …. It was a year ago this time last year when her and I shared a meal, and several laughs together. Sandy celebrated her birthday in the Twin Cities bringing her family along, and I was invited too. I had not seen Joan in along time. We ended up being in the back seat together , as her Son Gary navigated us. around the cities. I had a wonderful time visiting with her. We laughed together and talked of many things in that car ride a year ago. When we got out to part ways, she gave me hug, and told me to stop and see her next time I was in town. How could I have known this woman for so many years, and not known what a great giggle she had, and great laugh. Go in Peace Joan, my friend .
    Karen Long and family

  6. So sorry to hear about your mom. She will surely be missed. Have so many memories of her and the whole family growing up. Prayers and sympathy to all of you.

  7. Sorry to hear of the loss of your mother, Joan. She was always such a happy, smiling lady who truly enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. Family and friends and times together. Hold your memories close to your hearts as she can now enjoy eternity with your dad and Ed.
    Joe and Sharon Haskovec

  8. Hello cousins!
    Your Mother was a wonderful person and so very special. This is a great picture as all of my memories have her smiling! She had an infectious laugh and was always happy and smiling. She also gave great “hugs” – whenever I was back in NH, I made sure to stop and get a hug, or two, sometimes 3!!
    She will be missed!

  9. May the memories of your Mom guide you through this time of your sorrow. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the entire Halvorson family. David and Jeanne Roder

  10. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Halvorson family. I would have never guessed she would be gone so quickly, we had a couple great visits just in the last 2 -3 weeks when I stopped to visit her. She was truly a wonderful lady to know. We were so honored that she went on stage and yodeled for us during our Cowboy Poetry and Western Music fundraiser at the Starlite Ballroom a couple years ago. What a fun lady she was! I am sure she is still busy watching over her treasured family. Gerry and Marilee Mishak

  11. Our sympathy to the Halvorson family- Everyone has lost a very “special” lady. I don’t think I ever saw her that she wasn’t smiling. We so enjoyed the times we spent with both she & Merle either at our farm pond or at the VFW in Alta Vista. Now they are back together fishing. Duane & Pat Lynch

  12. Our deepest sympathy to all of you. We warmly remember what a great friend she was to Grandma Weigel many years ago. There was always a lot of good conversation, laughs, and of course, card playing when they were together. I was happy to reconnect with Joan in the last couple of years. She was a very special lady.

  13. Our warmest condolences on the loss of your mother. I have such warm memories of visits to see our cousins -and the warm reception we got whenever we invaded. So glad I got back for a brief visit to the last reunion and to hear Joan’s famous yodel!
    Debra and Steven Lahr

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