Joan D. Edmonson


Joan Diane (Dirks) Edmonson, 73, a resident of Osage, MN, passed away on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at Sanford Fargo Hospice surrounded by her loving family.

Joan was born March 27, 1949, in Cedar Falls, IA, the eldest daughter of Paul Dirks and Mavis Reeser. She spent the first years of her life growing up in Dike, IA, with her parents and soon after, her sister, Karen. In 1952 her parents purchased the R & D Resort on Straight Lake in Osage, MN. Paul ran the resort for a year and in 1953 he moved the family to the resort.

After graduating from Park Rapids High School in 1967, Joan became a nurse’s assistant at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fargo. During that time, she met her former husband, Robert Wangen (they met in the elevator!) and after saying NO at his first request, she finally said I DO on October 24th, 1970, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, MN. Joan and Robert remained in Fargo for another three years. During that time, they welcomed their first child, Doug, in 1972. The following spring, they relocated to Robert’s childhood home on a farm outside of Petersburg, ND. A few years later they welcomed in a bouncing baby girl, Lisa. Joan and Robert continued the farm life for over 30 years before they separated.

Joan then spent some time in the Phoenix area with her sister, but ultimately returned to Grand Forks, where she met the love of her life, Mahlon Edmonson. They were married on May 5th, 2007, in Grand Forks, ND. Soon after, they purchased a home near the R & D Resort.

Over the many years Joan enjoyed attending her son’s high school band concerts and her daughter’s basketball games. She loved flower gardening and adult coloring. Joan was also an avid genealogist, tracing some of her family’s roots back to the early 1600’s. This also led to a great interest in cemetery preservation, photographing numerous cemeteries  and eventually becoming the secretary for Riverside Cemetery in Osage. Joan loved traveling, which included a trip to Norway in 1997, and the many driving trips with Mahlon across the US. The east coast was one of her favorites!

Joan was preceded in death by her former husband Robert in 2006; her parents, Paul and Mavis; grandparents, Rev. George and Eleanor Dirks, and Lowell and Marguerite Reeser; grandson Blake Nelson; and her two beloved dogs, Bentley and Kooper. She’s survived by her husband, Mahlon; children, Doug (Cory) Wangen, Lisa (Michael) Nelson and step-daughter Lori Rodgers; sister, Karen Morris; brothers, Kevin Dirks and Todd Dirks (LeAnn); grandchildren, Nate Waskul, Brooke Carlson and Paige Rodgers; twin great grandchildren, Ella and Elaina Hinkemeyer; and new puppy, Baxter.

According to Joan’s wishes, no formal services will be held at this time. A celebration of her life will be planned for early summer. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Sanford Fargo Hospice or the Riverside Cemetery in Osage, MN. Friends may leave condolences at Arr. by Cease F.H.

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