Joan L. Blenka, 91 of La Crosse passed away peacefully at Riverside Transitional Care surrounded by her family on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. She was born October 20, 1929 in La Crosse to Joseph and Helen (Roth) Zeimentz.
She graduated from Aquinas High School and for a short time worked at Swift Co. and Electric Auto Lite. On June 14, 1952 she married Wally “Bud” Blenka and he preceded her in death on February 11, 2010.
She was a proud homemaker to her seven children, as well as babysitting other children at her home. She loved to bake and enjoyed her time spent at the family cabin the “School House” picking blackberries and apples. Joan and Bud enjoyed taking mystery bus tours together. She was a member of the Women of the Moose, the 23rd Street “coffee clutch,” the 60+ club and St. Joan of Arc Society both at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish. Joan volunteered for the Shelby Chicken Que, preparing food for many years. She was a huge Packers fan, watching every game and even attending a game at Lambeau Field with her son, Tom.
Joan is survived by six children; Sue (Michael) Johnston and Nancy Schermerhorn both of La Crosse; Alan (Susan) Blenka of Albert Lea, MN; Kathy Bahr of Holmen; Judy (Dennis) Seekamp and Tom (Wanda) Blenka both of La Crosse; 13 grandchildren, Mike (Michelle) Johnston, Jenny (Brock Nelson) Berger, Kelly (Mark) Mathy, Sara Schermerhorn, Mandi (Zach) Saugen, Ali (Chris) Froisland, Nick (Kelli) Bahr, Amy Bahr, Michelle (Cameron) Roy, Samantha (Shay) McReynolds, Justin (Andrea) Blenka, Zach Blenka and Michelle (Pete) Maroone; 14 great-grandchildren and a brother, Jim Zeimentz. In addition to her husband Bud, she was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Michael Blenka; a grandson, Eric Schermerhorn; two sons-in-law, Richard Schermerhorn and Bill Bahr; seven sisters, Jean Zeimentz, Helen Pedretti, Josile Larson, Dorothy Gleason, Sister Drusilla Zeimentz O.S.B., Alice Mae Hammes and Therese Culbert.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 A.M. Monday, April 19th at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, 2136 Weston Street with Rev. Brian D. Konopa officiating. Burial will follow in Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Monday from 9:30 A.M. until the time of the Mass at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Bede’s Monastery for the Sister’s Retirement Fund in Eau Claire, Mary, Mother of the Church Parish or an organization of the donor’s choice.
Joan’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the entire staff at Riverside Transitional Care for their loving care and kindness.
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