Joann Goodlaxson

Date of Death: Dec 09, 2020
Joann Goodlaxson

1935 - 2020

Joann Marie (Marquart) Goodlaxson, 85, of Waupun died Wednesday, December 9th from complications due to COVID. Born September 16, 1935 to Elmer and LaVerne Marquart in Knowles, she was a lifelong guiding force in the communities on the north end of the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. Joann graduated from Mayville High School and earned a BS from UW-Stout. She married David in 1957 and celebrated 60 years of marriage before he died in 2017.

Her legacy is built on seeing the best in everyone and modeling the best in a human. She was known for her work ethic, faith, and commitments to family and education. Her days were filled with farm chores, delivering lessons, tending her family, gardening and doing schoolwork late into the night. The 60s brought 4 children, who grew up learning the work ethic and generosity of spirit that were Joann’s hallmark traits. After they were launched she and Dave took in a 5th child, great nephew Dale.

Oakfield United Methodist church has been her community of faith where she accompanied countless services on piano and organ and represented on numerous committees and mission trips. Rising Sun Grange was her civic community where she developed and presented educational programs over many years at the local, county and state levels. As the Public Relations Director, she spent countless hours writing, editing and publishing the local and state Grange newspapers. In addition, she was a member of the Wisconsin Women for Agriculture, the Friends of the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and supported the Waupun Norwegian Lutheran Church.

As “Mrs. G”, she taught FACS – Family and Consumer Sciences (previously known as Home Economics) for 38 years, 37 at Waupun High School. Before she retired, she was teaching the grandchildren of former students and would be greeted everywhere with “Hello, Mrs. G!” She was reliably genuine, tough, loving and accepting of every student – no exceptions. She tutored school-age parents, visited elderly shut-ins and collected family stories, Horicon marsh lore and the genealogy of both sides of the family. She earned a graduate degree and wrote countless letters to representatives championing the value of women, farming and rural issues.

Joann found joy in music and the privilege of supporting others. To balance the work, she played piano beautifully and cheered raucously for the Packers!

She was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and LaVerne Marquart, her sister, Vivian Breitenfeld, her husband, David and daughter-out-law, Erika Jensen. She is survived by 4 children and partners – Joel, Waupun; Donna (Bob Brose) St. Paul; Deanne (Joe Kinney) Beaver Dam; and John Daniel (Paula Ferland) Kingston, TN; Dale (Karrie) Seager, Waupun; and 8 grandchildren – Devan (Taylor) Nehls, Beaver Dam; Sadie Goodlaxson (Jace Humpheries) Ramstein, Germany; Noah Harrington (Madeline Andrew) Austin TX; Dedra (Lukas) Buteyn, Appleton; Miles Bruns, Sheboygan Falls; Alice Goodlaxson (Diego Marin) Boyceville; Jake Goodlaxson, Johnson City, TN; and Peter Goodlaxson, Waupun. Two great grandchildren are toddling with two more due in March.

Celebration of Life

A Celebration of Life is set for Sunday, December 13th at 2:00pm from Oakfield United Methodist Church via Zoom with Rev. Dr. Young Tae Lee officiating. Family and friends are invited to visit the Werner Harmsen website for a link to the service.

Zoom link to service:
Meeting Id:167-247-323


An outdoor interment at Waupun Norwegian Lutheran Church cemetery is yet to be determined.

Memorial Contributions

Memorials may be directed to the International Crane Foundation, Friends of the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Heifer International and Oakfield United Methodist Church.

Mail donations to the President of Horicon NWR, Terri Fuller, – the donations will be accepted by the Friends group. Normally they receive their mail at our headquarters address but during this time it would be best to mail them directly to her so that they can be processed in a timely manner.

Terri Fuller, Friends of Horicon NWR
N6275 Cty Rd K
Fond du Lac, WI 54935



  1. Trista McDowell Says: December 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Mrs. Goodlaxson was such an amazing lady. I had the privilege of having her as my home room teacher and a teacher for a couple of my family and consumer education classes. She was such a sweet lady always had a smile on her face and kind words for everyone. One of the best teachers Waupun ever had.

  2. Luann Benedict Says: December 11, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Sorry for your loss. You have my prayers and thoughts. She was a great as a teacher that I know her through her Niece Ellen

  3. Carla and Jim Petersen Says: December 12, 2020 at 7:26 am

    So sorry for your loss, praying for you all and sending hugs. God Bless

  4. Connie Navis Says: December 12, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Many fond memories of Mrs. G as a teacher at Waupun High School. So sorry for your loss.

  5. Jill Walker Says: December 12, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    I’m so sad to see this! She was SUCH a sweet, kind woman! I would not have made it through my first year teaching without her!!! She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and helped me plan my curriculum my first year! I hardly even knew her and she invited me into her home, sat me down and worked hours and hours guiding me. Joanne… YOU WILL BE MISSED! You were a blessing to so many on earth! May you forever Rest In Peace! Xoxox

  6. Ellen Puckett Says: December 12, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    One of the best teachers you could have-taught life lessons not just classroom education. This is so sad – condolences to the family,

  7. Nyla (Bock) Musser Says: December 12, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    My deepest sympathy to the family of Joann Goodlaxson. I have known her from 4-H days, living in Rosendale, and as a collegue with Family Living and Consumer Education. Yes she had a contagious smile and was always willing to go the second mile for anyone. She will be deeply missed by many but her memory will linger in our hearts forever. Nyla (Bock) Musser

  8. All my sympathy and compassion for you and your family. She was a wonderful lady and had a great life.

  9. Ron & Donna Vande Kolk Says: December 12, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    Mrs. G was the best! She just didn’t teach us Home Economics, she taught us life skills! Ron & I both had her in High School and she was loved ?. Our deepest sympathy to her family.

  10. Jeanette Daines Says: December 12, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Joann was one of the teachers who pioneered curriculum change in home economics. I had the privilege of working with her then, and always appreciated her many talents, her good humor, and her patient leadership skills. She was a wonderful person.

  11. Chuck Rhein Says: December 13, 2020 at 7:25 am

    Joann’s presence will be missed by many. A great family friend. I am so sorry for your loss. Chuck Rhein

  12. Natalie Vande Zande Says: December 13, 2020 at 8:04 am

    So sorry for your loss. Had her as a teacher when I was in high school. Really good teacher. My thoughts are with you at this time

  13. To Donna, Joel, Deanne and John, so sorry to hear of your loss. I have many fond memories of your Mom dating back to the mid-seventies when we first met. I especially enjoyed seeing her volunteering at the Horicon Marsh. She was a remarkable woman, a role model for so many. I am holding you all in my heart. Love, Ann

  14. Pam Wickman Says: December 13, 2020 at 8:52 am

    What a wonderful person, a great teacher, an inspiration! I followed in her footsteps as a Family & Consumer Science teacher. She will be dearly missed.

  15. Todd Rostyne Says: December 13, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Mrs. Goodlaxson will be missed by many. She touched me as a young person and in school. Willing to talk and visit when see out and about. Would ask about her family and willing to share about them. She picked my cousins and I up for Grange. Will pray that you will find comfort from God from the loss of your parents.

  16. Annette and Michael Mehlmann Says: December 13, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    A powerful woman has left us. We know Joann as the „grandmother“ of our daughter during her stay as an exchange student at Waupun. Thank you, Joann. We hold you in high regard. Annette and Michael Mehlmann, Morsbach, Germany

  17. Mrs.G was my home ec teacher for three years in high school. She was the most upbeat person I have ever known. She had a heart for students with disabilities. She was my favorite teacher I will miss her very much.

  18. Cheryl Crawford Watson Says: December 13, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Joann inspired many through her work in the Grange. May her legacy live on! Deepest sympathy to her family.

  19. Lynn Mellberg Gilles Says: December 14, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Joel and Family, my warmest condolences on the passing of your Mom. She was a wonderful woman. My sincere thoughts and prayers are with you.

  20. Vicki Ritzema Says: December 14, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Sorry for your loss! Mrs. G was the best teacher and always a smile on her face. One of my favorite teachers and even when you would run into her outside of school she always knew you. She will be missed by many!

  21. Harley and Barbara Buchholz Says: December 14, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Joann was a good friend all through her Grange years and beyond (as was David). She was a fine teacher and thoroughly enjoyed her rural life. Sincere condolences to her children and grandchildren.

  22. Terri Fuller Says: December 14, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Joann was a gift to many but especially to the Friends of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge! She was a leader and supportive of the refuge and it’s purpose. She believed in outreach and education and was always working to get out the message of the refuge mission. She was an inspiration and will be missed.

  23. Dominic Bender Says: December 14, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    You were one of the best teachers to have and know and your students will miss your heartfelt presence. May you rest within the arms of the angels whose ranks you now join Mrs. G. You have left your mark on many of your students who will never forget you.

  24. Maureen Joy Says: December 15, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    So sorry to hear of Joann’ illness,she is now truly home.
    So many memories from our 4-H days…great neighbor and always seeing the best in others
    Maureen Joy (Flood)

  25. Jean Tenpas Says: December 15, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    She was one of my favorite teachers. She showed respect to all, was always fair and helped everyone when they needed help. My sympathies to all of the family.

  26. Anita Harrington Says: December 17, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    I was very sad to hear of Joanne’s passing. She was a lovely soul and I will always remember her kindness. Prayers for peace for the family.

  27. Todd Gustafson Says: December 18, 2020 at 7:59 am

    So so sorry to hear the news of you mother’s passing. She sounded like quite a special mom. My heart goes out to you and the family during these hard times.

  28. Matt Kittell Says: March 15, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    To Joel, Donna, Deanne, and JD,
    Your mom was a true leader in our community. She was everywhere and did everything! I have so many wonderful memories of her at the family farm, as a 4-H leader, as teacher, and at so many school events and beyond. While her passing is painful for now, her legacy of an engaged community by virtue of the the thousands that she touched should bring comfort forever.
    I am indebted to you and your parents for the kindness and knowledge imparted on me.

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