Joan Pollema

August 2, 1946 — July 27, 2022

Joan Catherine Pollema, 75, of Saint Charles died July 27, 2022, surrounded by her family.

Joan PollemaJoan was born on August 2, 1946, to Gregory and Evabell (Davidshofer) Kramer. She was the seventh of seven children and grew up on their family farm near Elba, Minnesota. Joan graduated from Saint Charles High School in 1964. She attended Winona State University, where she studied social work. She married Harold Peter Fort Jr. in 1967. They raised their five children. They later divorced. Joan married David Herman Pollema on June 28, 2003, at Saint Charles Borromeo Church. They resided in Saint Charles together. Joan worked at Camera Art and Arbor Gardens, but her career highlight was opening and owning Grandma’s Variety, where her homemade candles and Saints apparel were sold.

Joan lived by the motto, “Live simply.” Some of her simple pleasures included time with her grandchildren, visiting with her special friend Robyn, neighbors and passersby on her front porch, camping, reading on her back swing and watching wildlife out her windows. She is well known for her witty humor and easy-to-talk-to personality.

Joan is survived by her five children — or the fabulous five, as she described them — Tom Fort (Sara) of Saint Charles, Carolyn Nicklay (Rick) of Saint Charles, Sue Paul (Ryan) of Saint Charles, Joe Fort (Jen) of Zumbro Falls and Julie Carlson (Tom) of Saint Charles; 10 grandchildren, Brandon Nicklay, Josh Nicklay (Mikayla), Cody Nicklay (Amanda), Ashley Paul, Andrew Paul, Morgan Carlson, Haley Carlson, Eva Fort, Charlie Fort and Emma Fort; two great-grandchildren, Brooklynn Nicklay and Miles Nicklay; her siblings Edward Kramer and Leo Kramer, both of Elba, Minnesota; brother in law, Thomas Helfter of Le Center, Minnesota, and her beloved four-legged companion, Jackson.

She was preceded in death by her husband David; her parents; sisters, Regina Leisen, Mildred Dee and Lucille Helfter; brother, Leonard Kramer; sisters-in-law Dorothy Pollema, JoAn Kramer and Donna Kramer, and brothers-in-law Joseph Leisen and Stanley Dee.

Funeral Mass will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 6, at Saint Aloysius Catholic Church in Elba. Visitation will be two hours prior to the funeral. Burial will be at Saint Aloysius Cemetery in Elba.

Hoff Funeral Service of St. Charles is assisting the family with arrangements.