JoAnn Strong, age 67, of Eleva, passed away on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at her home. She was born on April 18, 1950 in Eau Claire to AnnaBelle Strong. She grew up in Osseo and went on to graduate from Eleva-Strum High School in 1968. JoAnn worked at UW Eau Claire as a cook and later at Wagner’s 66 ½ Lanes in Eau Claire, where she was known for making the best Bloody Marys at her service bar. She was blessed with a son, Andrew Strong, and later two grandsons. She loved to bowl when she could, go fishing, and play cards with friends. To her, there was nothing better than an ice cold Coke. JoAnn had a great sense of humor and had a one-liner for every occasion. There wasn’t anyone she met that she couldn’t get laughing. Her family, especially her grandsons (who referred to her as “Goofy Grandma”), were her world. As JoAnn always said, “No matter how weak we are, we will always be Strong.”
She is survived by her son, Andrew (Samantha Merten) Strong of Colfax; two grandsons, Hunter and Nolan Strong of Colfax; brother, Tom Benning of Eleva, (Annette Forthun on Mondovi); sister, Connie (Orv) Mikkelson of Mondovi; aunt, Jerry Lou Strong; nieces, nephews, and cousins; and many, many friends.
She was preceded in death by her mother, AnnaBelle (Strong) Benning; step-father, Stanley Benning; grandparents, Harry and Stella Strong; step-brother, Michael Benning; and step-sister, Julie Stringer.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at Eleva Lutheran Church with Pastor Bob Castro officiating. Burial will follow at Eleva Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-7 pm on Wednesday, November 8 at Kjentvet-Smith Funeral Home, Eleva and at the church for one hour prior to the service on Thursday. Online condolences may be shared at www.kjentvet-smithfuneralhome.com.