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Joanna Elizabeth Walz, 94

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Joanna Elizabeth Walz, age 94 of New Hampton, died Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, at the New Hampton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, at Holy Family Parish, New Hampton, with the Rev. James Goerend celebrating the Mass.

The interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, New Hampton.

For those unable to attend the Mass in person, please join the family via Livestream on the Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home websitee on Joanna’s web page.

Friends may greet the family from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton.  Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Tuesday.

Joanna Elizabeth Walz was born June 9, 1929, in Alta Vista, the daughter of Clarence and Elizabeth (Elenz) Nehl.

Joanna’s education began at St. Williams Catholic School in Alta Vista, where she completed her grade school and high school education, graduating in 1948. She then pursued a teaching certificate at Upper Iowa University in Fayette.

Joanna was a dedicated teacher, nurturing young minds in rural country schools until her marriage to Wilfred Walz. Joanna and Wilfred knew each other from a young age, their families being friends, and their bond blossomed into a lifelong partnership, culminating in their wedding on Wednesday, June 7, 1950, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Alta Vista.

After their marriage, Joanna and Wilfred embarked on their farming journey, initially near Hawkeye, then moving to a farm near Lawler, and eventually settling on their own farm southwest of Lawler. The couple worked harmoniously, tending to their farm while raising their six cherished children. They sold their farm in 1967, moving to their current home just east of New Hampton.

Joanna’s strong work ethic extended beyond the farm. She worked at the former Bemis Baker until 1970 before dedicating her efforts to the school lunch program. Her diligent work in the lunch program nourished countless New Hampton students until her retirement in 1990.

Joanna’s interests painted a vibrant picture of a woman who embraced life with enthusiasm and joy. She loved quilting, a testament to her handy nature, creating intricate and beautiful pieces that were cherished by family and friends. Dancing with Wilfred brought her immense joy, their love for each other evident in their graceful movements.

Joanna’s green thumb was evident in her garden, a haven of serenity and beauty. Her adventurous spirit led her to camping trips all over the Midwest, creating a treasure trove of precious family memories.

Joanna’s love for card games was well known, with Euchre and “500” being her favorites. Her competitive spirit and strategic mind made her a formidable opponent and an entertaining companion.

Survivors include her husband, Wilfred; six children, Susan (John) Kriener of Omaha, Nebraska, Jane Einck of New Hampton, Mary Lou (Ron) Balk of Denver, David (Molly Abraham) Walz of Iowa City, Roger (Ericka) Walz of Maple Grove, Minnesota, and Steven (Stacia) Walz of Denver, Colorado; 19 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Ken (Delores) Nehl of New Hampton and Joe (Lorraine) Nehl of Honolulu; sister, Florence (Don) Boss of Nashua; and sisters-in-law, Virginia Nehl of Waterloo, Sharon Nehl of Dunkerton, Mary Nehl of Hazelton, and Darlene Tenge of New Hampton.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Ray (Dolores) Nehl, Wally (Lois) Nehl, Dick Nehl, Bill Nehl, Bob Nehl and Ed Nehl; son-in-law, Tim Einck; and daughter-in-law, Judy Walz.

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