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Joan Jacka Guenther

April 24, 1923 October 27, 2020
Joan Jacka Guenther
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Obituary for Joan Jacka Guenther

Joan, Blossom, Mom, Grams, Mormor, G.G. Terms of endearment for a most endearing soul. Joan Jacka Guenther, beloved by so many has passed on. She was born Joan Isobel Jacka in the picturesque Michigan Upper Peninsula town of Crystal Falls on April 24, 1923. She passed on Tuesday, October 27,2020, 97 years aged.

Family was the centerpiece of Joan’s world. Married to John R (Jack) Guenther for more than 60 years until his passing in 2008, she was his Blossom, the flower that bore the bounty of their family. They were blessed with five children: John (Gayle), Karen, Kristin (Kirk), Susan (Bill), and Jamie (Alivia). All were guided by Joan’s hand to their own great personal successes. And the bounty continues, generation after generation, with 9 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren to call her Grams, G.G. or Mormor, and all of whom she adored.

Education was ever important to Joan. She graduated as Valedictorian of her Class from Crystal Falls High School in 1941. Within her valedictory speech perhaps lies the motto of her life. “Luck is Pluck – the will to try things over and over, for stubborn labor conquers everything. The worthiness of life depends upon the way and manner small, everyday and seemingly insignificant tasks are performed.”
As education and determination were important to Joan, so was service to her country. Fresh out of school just as war was erupting, she set out for Washington DC and found her way onto the office staff of a general at the War Department. Always strong and self-assured, she lived and worked in DC for 2 years on her own. You can well imagine war-time DC was a world apart from her small hometown in the UP. She even made The War Times newspaper while there, being featured in a pictorial article for volunteering as an “Eileen” at the Stage Door Canteen in town. The polished social graces that carried on for all her years served her well in sharing polite conversation and a dance with the young men headed off to uncertainty in the various theaters of war.

Over the years, Joan’s home was always warm and inviting. A fan of things blue, one could always expect to see something new, something blue when visiting. And she had an astute eye for antiques and gathered many pieces around her. She shared her passion for antiques in her many presentations to her Quester peers, always well researched and engaging. Besides her membership in the local Questers chapter, she was active in the local community with her involvements in the Birmingham Senior Women’s Club. She even served as their first historian.

And Joan possessed a force of will virtually unmatched. Her strong sense of self and her clarity of purpose paved the way for a wonderful and full life. Through the replacement of knees and a hip, the other maladies she encountered, and Jack’s own passing, she always persevered. She fought to live life on her terms with every breath she drew. She breathed life into quite the family, and she touched the hearts and souls of so many others. The void of her passing is filled to overflowing with her gifts to us all.

Due to Covid 19, a Private Funeral Service will be held at the Birmingham First United Methodist Church. The service will be live streamed at 11:00a.m. Monday, November 2, 2020 and may be joined via the following link:
The service will be available as a recording shortly following the service at the same link.

Memorials in Joan’s honor may be directed to the Disabled Veterans of America at; or to the Birmingham First United Methodist Church at


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