Joann (Hovden) Gardner, 91

Sep. 14, 1932 -
March 9, 2024
RIDGEWAY - Constance Joann (Hovden) Gardner was at home when she was called to heaven peacefully on March 15, 2024. She was surrounded by her family members during the days leading up to her passing.
Joann was born to Helmer J. and Celia M. (Simonson) Hovden on her family’s farm near Ridgeway, Iowa on September 14, 1932. She was baptized and confirmed at Madison Luth- eran Church near Ridgeway. She attended the nearby one-room country schoolhouse and later Decorah High School and graduated in 1950.
Joann loved dancing and met Charles “Chuck” Arnold Gardner at an area dance hall. They were married at Madison Lutheran Church on December 17, 1950. They shared many happy years together and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2000. Joann and Chuck farmed Joann’s family farm (established in 1868) and had four children:  Lorene Ann, Eric Lee, Barbara Lynn, and Dawn Renee. The family attended Orleans Lutheran Church, where Joann was an active volunteer for various groups within the church.
Joann was a farm homemaker, an excellent cook, baker, seamstress, housekeeper, gardener, and canner. She loved big band music, gatherings of family and friends, spending time at the Mississippi River boating and waterskiing, and shopping with her girls. She loved to laugh and was very quick-witted and funny - even to the end of her 91 years. She was known for her genuine kindness, her smile, and her positivity regarding other people. She only had kind things to say about others and remained kind and caring until she passed. She also had a great appreciation for beauty of all kinds - in her attire, her home, her garden, and in her surroundings. 
Joann continued to live on her family’s farm until a few years after her husband, Chuck, passed away in 2005. She then moved to a house in Ossian to be near her daughter Barb. She later moved to an apartment in Cresco; and then to her house in Cresco where she lived with Barb until her passing. During the later years, Joann regularly attended Tuesday morning coffee with the Ridgeway ladies and monthly lunches with her Class of 1950 Decorah High School classmates.
Joann was preceded in death by her husband Chuck, her parents Helmer and Celia, her siblings Orabelle Halverson, Lester Hovden and Joyce Seagren, as well as many cousins and relatives.
Joann is survived by her 4 children: Lorene [Rick] Reddell, Eric [Pam] Gardner, Barb, and Dawn; her 10 grandchildren: Jessica Marie & Zachary Paul Reddell; Amanda Joan [Lonnie] Carolan & Troy Anthony Gardner; Taylor Joann Spies; Ellana Kimberly, Jasmine Rose & Alex Cecelia Eide; Mette Hovden & Karine Kiel Story; and her 7 great-grandchildren: Clarissa Shea, Hudson Lee & Gabriella Joan Carolan; Sofia May Gardner; Alo Ray, Wren Alice, & Ky Daniel Munkel.
Joann’s funeral was held at Orleans Lutheran Church near Ridgeway, Iowa on Saturday March 23, 2024, followed by a burial service at the Orleans Lutheran Cemetery. Memorials in honor of Joann may be given to the Howard County Community Hospice or the Orleans Lutheran Cemetery. Lindstrom Funeral Home is handling arrangements. 

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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