Joleen Elizabeth Palmquist of Kasota, age 81, passed away on November 19, 2023.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at First Lutheran Church, St. Peter, MN, with visitation at the church one hour prior to the service.
Joleen “Jo” was born in 1942 to Marie (née Monson) and Orville Thompson in Nicollet, MN, and always lived in the Nicollet-St. Peter area. She was confirmed at First Lutheran Church in St. Peter and attended church there. Growing up, Joleen loved swimming, serving as a lifeguard in her teens, and actively enjoying the sport throughout her adulthood and well into retirement.
In 1960, Joleen married Gerald “Jerry” Palmquist in St. Peter, MN, and started her career as a successful homemaker. In 1967, Joleen and Jerry moved to their hobby farm in rural Kasota, MN, where they would spend the remaining 56 of their 63 years together and where they raised their five children. Joleen was a leader in 4H, and always encouraged and supported her children’s interests, whether ham radio, hunting and fishing, art, collecting dolls, or collecting almost anything elephant. As her children grew older, Joleen worked at ADC and, later, at Gustavus Adolphus College, where the dorms’ students valued her as always having a kind word and a listening ear.
Jo attended St. Peter High School, and her natural curiosity made her a life-long learner. She had a wide variety of interests and many hobbies in which she excelled, including sewing and quilting, knitting and crocheting, many types of needlework, antique furniture refinishing, interior design, decorating for holidays, and flower gardening. She loved her dogs and watching the birds at her many feeders, and enjoyed doll collecting and attending craft shows.
Jo had a strong regard for her Swedish ancestry, which she imparted to her family by cooking and baking Swedish foods, by decorating her home with Swedish artwork and heirloom crafts, and by sharing stories of the family and people she met and the places she saw during her visit to Sweden with her daughters in the 1980s. Joleen will be dearly missed by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, for whom she hosted family gatherings and holiday celebrations.
Jo passed away on November 19th surrounded by family, of natural causes at Mayo Mankato Hospital. Her family is grateful for the compassionate care Joleen received from her Mayo ICU team.
Joleen is survived by her husband, Jerry; children, Brady (Jerrie Hayes), Carey (Lisa), Thea (Paul Arndt), and Kristin Johnson (Jeff); son-in-law, Tim McGovern; 12 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Barbara Thompson; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter Kimberly McGovern; her grandson Ross Palmquist; and her brother, Richard Thompson.