Joanne Mary (Walker) Zeman, 87, of Owatonna, died April 5, 2019 at Koda Living Community. A Funeral Mass is set for Monday, April 15, 2019 at 10:00 am at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Newry Township, rural Gevena, MN. Friends may greet the family on Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 2:00 - 3:45 pm at the Brick-Meger Funeral Home in Owatonna and one hour before the funeral liturgy on Monday. A parish rosary will start at 3:45 pm at the funeral home on Sunday.
Joanne was born November 16, 1931, in rural Ellendale, to Wesley and Marie (Goodnature) Walker. She attended elementary country school and Blooming Prairie High School, where she graduated in 1949. She attended Winona State College and received a teaching degree.
After college, Joanne taught at St. Mary’s School in Owatonna, before marrying Dick Zeman on June 26, 1954, in a double wedding with her sister Sue and Dick’s brother, Ray. Joanne and Dick started farming after they were married, with Joanne staying home to raise their family. Once the children were all in school, Joanne re-entered the education field, serving on the Owatonna School Board, substitute teaching at St. Mary’s, serving as a teacher’s aide for Head Start and in the Ellendale and Owatonna School districts, and teaching Religious Education for St. Mary’s School.
Joanne was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Owatonna; and a longtime member of both Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Unborn Life; and the Steele County ARC, working for decades as an advocate for people of disabilities. Joanne also served as a 4-H club leader for the decades her children were in 4-H. Joanne and Dick were awarded the Sertoma Club’s “Service To Mankind Award.” Joanne is survived by her 12 children, 29 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren.
The 12 children are:Theresa Zeman of Mankato; Michele (Chuck) Lindberg of St. Louis, MO; Cea (Buz) Grass of Owatonna; Kathy Zeman of Nerstrand; Tony (Leslie) Zeman of Bassett, NE; ; Francis (Sheila ) Zeman of Owatonna; Patrick (Deb) Zeman of Owatonna; Jerry (Bobbie) Zeman of Northome; Annette Zeman (Dave Samuel) of Hayward, WI; Elizabeth (Jeff) Hilligoss of Eden Prairie; Dominic Zeman of Nerstrand; and Kateri (Jason) Ruiz of Eden Prairie.
Her 29 grandchildren include: Derek (Kate Costabile) Lindberg, Alexandra (Michael) Phillips, and Chaz Lindberg; Jake (Lindsay) Grass and Mandi (Andy) Resler; Adam (Bailey Herbst) Zeman, Andrew Zeman , Meciah (Karly) Zeman, Cainan (Rachelle) Zeman , and Jamin (Brooke) Zeman; Joshua (Nicole Ingvaldson) Zeman and Jenna Zeman; Ben Zeman and Gabi Zeman; Merissa (Owen) Williams, Kade Zeman, Kyle Zeman, and Jordan Zeman; Jessica (Jamie) Bratsch, Kevin(Gina) Samuel; Tyler (Carmen Wood) Hilligoss, Hannah Hilligoss, Sarah Hilligoss, Madison Hilligoss, and Anthony Hilligoss; and Ariel Ruiz, Isabella Ruiz, Maya Ruiz, and Ava Ruiz.
The 19 great-grandchildren are: Madeline, Kaylee, Jeremiah, and Lydia Grass; Blake and Creedence Resler; Jaxson, Maddison, Roper, Hazer, Bryleigh, Kenna Zeman; Bering Williams; Shay Zeman; Quentin and Lars Bratsch; Lucas, Austin and Lula Samuel. Joanne’s surviving sisters are Beatrice (Leo) Zeman of Bloomer, WI and Mary Lou Chappius of Rochester.
Joanne was preceded in death by her husband, Dick; her infant sister Bernadette; her sister Sue; her brother Robert; and her parents. Memorial donations may be made to the donor’s choice.