Joan Marilla Smart, age 86 of Baldwin, WI, went home to Heaven on Sunday, September 24, 2017 at the Baldwin Care Center. Joan was born November 22, 1930 in her family farm house near Soldier, IA, to parents Jalmer and Eunice (Wingate) Nelsen; she graduated from Soldier High School with the class of 1948. Joan met her husband-to-be, Jackson “Jack” Smart, on a blind date in Omaha, NE; they were united in marriage on December 15, 1950 at the Soldier Lutheran Church. Joan and Jack were married for over 65 years. Their unwavering love and devotion to each other blessed them with three children, as well as two generations of grandchildren. Joan and Jack moved frequently throughout Jack’s career until they both retired to Sheridan, WY, where they lived for 32 years.
Joan dedicated her life to helping others. She made it her mission to lend a helping hand wherever and whenever she could. Her volunteer work at the Sheridan VA Medical Center provided daily support and comfort to countless veterans from across the Rocky Mountain Region. Throughout her 22 years of exceptional service, Joan accumulated more than 20,000 hours of volunteer work.
Joan was also an outstanding homemaker and cook; her cookies became famous to her children and their friends, as they would rush to the cookie jar after school whenever they could. She had an unquestionable love for her family, and will always be remembered as a wonderful mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She is survived by her children, Steven (Diane) Smart, Mark (Terri) Smart, and Jill (Gary Koenig) Smart; grandchildren, Jeremy (Wendy) Smart, Katie (Nate) Enfield, Kim Stone, Jeff (Jessica) Stone, and Kelly (Ryan) Roupe; six great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, as well as countless friends.
Joan is preceded in death by her husband, Jackson; parents, Jalmer and Eunice; sisters, Merces Merrill and Vonda Healy; and her brother, LeRoy Nelsen.
A funeral service for family and close friends will be held at the Soldier Lutheran Church, IA, at a later date in October. Memorials honoring the life of Joan M. Smart may be directed to Soldier Lutheran Church, 223 Lark Street, Soldier, IA 51572.