Joann Marie Hakala, 85, of Negaunee, passed away Friday afternoon, May 1, 2020 at UP Health System Marquette.
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Joann was a beautiful lady born January 2, 1935 to Paul and Celina (Garceau) Austin. She grew up in Ishpeming with her five siblings but spent most of her life in Negaunee with her husband of 54 years, Edwin, raising their five children. Joann was a longtime member of St. Paul Catholic Church, Negaunee.
Joann graduated from Ishpeming High School, Class of 1952, and then attended Northern Michigan University where she earned a Master’s of Arts and an Education Specialist degree in Elementary Education. She had a 22-year career as an elementary school librarian and teacher for Marquette Area Public Schools and taught children’s literature for one year at NMU. Joann also authored two books, receiving the 2004 Upper Peninsula Writer’s Association Writer of the Year Award for her first book, A Matter of Courage. Her second book was a children’s book titled, “A Baby Brother, Oh No!”
Joann loved to travel as she and Ed were always looking forward to their next getaway. They took multiple visits to Finland to visit Ed’s relatives as well as trips to Hawaii, Mexico, Germany and Switzerland.
She loved to spend her free time listening to her favorite singer, Daniel O’Donnell. She could sit and watch his videos or listen to his music for hours on end. She was thrilled when she and Ed had the opportunity to travel to see him perform live.
Joann was a kind, loving and wonderful mother, grandmother and sister, and will be dearly missed by family and friends. Surviving are her three sons: James Hakala of Negaunee, Michael (Kathy) Hakala of Negaunee, Gerry (Laurie) Hakala of Comstock Park; two daughters: Joellyn (Alan) Kainulainen of Negaunee and Roberta (Ronnie) Jones of Gardner, MA; grandchildren: Amanda and Sara Kainulainen, Alyssa Hakala, Heather (Eric) Jarvi, Meghan, Mikayla and Jacob Hakala, Cory Holmgren, Katelyn and Andrew Hakala, Alaina and Jaden Jones, and great-grandchildren: Riley Carlson, Eli and Owen Jarvi, Hadley and Ada Herron; three sisters: Fern Black, Pauline (James) Price and Susan (George) Amlott; her brother, Terry Austin; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Edwin Robert Hakala in 2013; and brother, Robert (Diane) Austin.
Joann’s family extends a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Brookridge Heights Assisted Living for the wonderful care over the past three years, and also the staff at UP Health System’s ICU.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at a later date at St. Paul Catholic Church. Burial will be in the Negaunee Cemetery.
Joann’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com