Obituary for Joanne Ruth Desotelle

Joanne Ruth Desotelle

Joanne Ruth Desotelle, 83, of Marshfield, Wisconsin, passed away Friday morning on June 19, 2021, at Care Partners of Altoona, in Altoona, Wisconsin.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at St. John’s Catholic Church, Marshfield, where the visitation will be from 9:30 am until service time. The service will be live-streamed at Rev. James Weighner will officiate. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Marshfield. Rembs Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Born on March 12, 1938, in Marshfield, Wisconsin, she was the daughter of the late Hartlan Gowey and Ruth E. Gowey, and was one of seven children, preceded in death by her sister, Donna Goedel; and survived by her sisters Pat Raab, Orla Wolski, Mary Lou Gates, Jane Chapel, and by her brother Gene Gowey.

Joanne was a graduate of Columbus Catholic High School in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where she cultivated her lifelong love of learning.  She attended Mount Mary College for her undergraduate, where she met her husband, the late Jack Desotelle of Ironwood, Michigan.  Both pursued careers in teaching when they moved to Moorhead, MN, where she completed both her bachelor’s (1964) and master’s (1967) degrees in English Literature at Moorhead State University.  Joanne mothered five children from 1959 to 1962 (Janene Paulson, Jolinda Ferrell, John Desotelle, Jude Desotelle, and Jera Moe), leaving temporarily her teaching career to raise them.  In 1972, she had twins, James and Joel Desotelle. She is survived by all seven children, 22 grandchildren, and XXX great-grandchildren.

From 1980 to the late 1990s, she was the owner and publishing editor of Who’s Who Among American Law Students.  In 1985, Joanne moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota with James and Joel, to pursue her Doctor of Philosophy degree in English Literature before returning to teach at the college level.  In 1990, she graduated with honors at the University of North Dakota with her Ph.D., and subsequently resumed her teaching career at Keuka College in Keuka Park, NY, where she taught for the next 15 years.  In 2005, she joined her son, Joel, in Chambersburg, PA as co-owner and editor for Edlantis Seminars, a position she actively held until 2020.

In addition to teaching, Joanne cherished spending time with family, taking trips to the Minnesota North Shore, indulging in weekend adventures at the Holiday Inn, and playing various games, such as Yahtzee, 500, and cribbage; she also loved watching old movies and sharing her vivid memories of the past with her beloved children and grandchildren.  Her distinctive colored “Crocs” were her trademark footwear of choice, which came to represent her independence and individuality throughout the latter years of her life.  She will be remembered by her impressive family tree, for her unwavering work ethic, for her famous chili and “Christmas Mix,” and for instilling in all that knew her a love of being together and going on adventures, “never asking whether, but only when” as her progeny pursued their own dreams and ambitions.  We will miss you mom, grandma, sister, auntie, and friend.

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