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Joni Stewart

Feb. 22. 1956-July 1, 2008

Former Detroit Lakes resident Joni M. Stewart, 52, of Park Rapids, passed away unexpectedly at her home on Tuesday, July 1, 2008.

Joni Marie Young was born to George and Doris (Vogt) Young on Feb. 22, 1956 in Detroit Lakes. Joni was raised in the Detroit Lakes and Pine Point area and attended school in Detroit Lakes.

In 1974, Joni married Marlin Stewart. The young couple made their home in Park Rapids. Two children were born to this union, Amber and James. Joni was a very dedicated mother to her children and provided well for them. When her children were still young she returned to school. After earning her GED, she went on to attend Northwest Technical College in Detroit Lakes. In 1980 she graduated with a degree in nursing.

Joni gained employment at St. Joseph's Area Health Services in Park Rapids, where she worked in the emergency room for eight years. She then worked at a nursing home in Bemidji for a time before she found her calling at Heritage Living Center in 1989. She made Heritage her "home away from home." She enjoyed working with the residents and staff there, and had been looking forward to returning to work soon.

Joni was passionate about nursing, and although she was encouraged to pursue her R.N. (registered nursing) license), she was quite pleased with her title of LPN (licensed practical nurse, Loving, passionate, and nurturing... Joni was all of these things in every aspect of her life. She was a very compassionate nurse and was comforting to many. In return, she was rewarded with a heart full of memories, and a special place for each.

Joni would do any thing that was asked of her to help someone out, family and friends alike. She was a loving grandmother, who loved nothing more than to "spoil" her grandchildren. All she wanted in return were a hug and a kiss, which were happily given. Joni's hobbies included reading, knitting, shopping and eating out. She was a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwa.

Surviving Joni are her children, Amber (Tim) Siemsen and James Stewart, both of Park Rapids; two grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; four brothers, Timothy Young of Park Rapids, Randy (Shirley) Young of Hubbard, Todd (Terri) Irey of Woodbury, Minn., and Mike Irey of Fresno, Calif.; seven nieces and nephews as well as other relatives and friends.

Preceding Joni in death were her parents, George Young and Doris Irey; and her grandparents, Gordon and Edwina Vogt.

Funeral services were held on Monday, July 7, at the Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids, with the Rev. Loren Ferch officiating. Active casket bearers were Kevin Wischnak, Kelly Wischnak, Dan Wischnak, Paul Vogt, Greg Diestler and Rod Kruger. Honorary casket bearers were Joni's grandchildren, nieces, nephews, co-workers at Heritage Living Center, and the many residents who touched her life. Interment was at St. Theodore's Cemetery in Pine Point.

Arrangements were entrusted to Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids.