JoAnne Juul Desmond Obituary (1935 – 2022) – Grand Rapids, MI

Born to Effie and John Manley Juul in Minneapolis, Mn, JoAnne was the youngest (by far) to her siblings, Janet and Marilyn Juul, all who have preceded her to the great beyond. She loved her childhood, paper dolls and riding bikes, and was known from day one for her naturally curly hair. She graduated from Macalester College with a degree in Music. She was a trained soprano who used her talents to both teach voice and perform with choirs and orchestras. She loved singing in the church choir until she turned 80. JoAnne was actively involved in the YWCA as a Youth Activities Coordinator and Administrator. Later, she served as a Director of Volunteer Services for both the University of Michigan Hospital and St Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor for over 20 years.
But it was her family that meant the most to JoAnne. She fell in love with Richard (Dick) Desmond during the summer of 1956 as she traveled across Europe for her senior music thesis. Their story unfolds through a series of love letters written across the seas, and they were married a year later on August 24, 1957, spending 50 years together until his death in 2007. Dick and JoAnne lived in five different states making good friends wherever they were went. They had two beloved children who both followed in the footsteps of their parents with lifelong marriages, Scott and Laura Desmond of Cleveland Heights, Oh., and Karin and Dane Wysocki of Grand Rapids, Mi.
JoAnne loved spending time with friends, especially at church in different spiritual, educational and outreach programs. And she loved time with family, which was especially important after retiring and moving to Grand Rapids in 2000. She was an avid athletic and music supporter to all of her grandchildren, Jack, Kelsey, Cameron, Ryan, Robert and Kristen, all of whom she was so proud. In her final years, JoAnne suffered from memory loss and Alzheimer’s, but she remained dignified, strong, kind, caring, sassy, ​​and witty. A favorite for her caregivers, she was always ready with a “Getting Old Ain’t for Sissy’s,” with a smile on her face. Most importantly, she was always ready to give and receive the “I love you too,” for her children and grandchildren, whom she remembered until the end. We love you Mom, and we know from your last few days, Dad and your friends and loved ones were there to greet you – because you told us you clearly saw them and were so happy. You deserve the reunion, and may you sing again forever.
Services will be held in Ann Arbor at a later date. A Cantata will be sponsored in her name. And for all other gifts or celebrations in JoAnne’s name, please donate to a non-profit program celebrating music. We would love to hear how her voice continues to sing.
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to the family, please visit our floral store.

Published by Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service on Aug. 6, 2022.

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