JOAN MARLENE KLITZKE was born December 16, 1939 to Leon and Emma (Spencer) Wodtke in Hendricks, Minnesota. She was raised on a farm in Drammen Township and attended country school through the 7th grade before going to school in Lake Benton, Minnesota. Joan graduated in 1957 and went to work at Farmers State Bank in Lake Benton as a bank teller. On April 11, 1959 she was united in marriage to Earl Joseph Klitzke at the Evangelical Reformed Church in Elkton, South Dakota. The couple made their first home on a farm 7 miles north of Lake Benton. When Earl returned from his four years with the Air Force the family moved to a farm just east of Verdi, Minnesota. They lived there until 1987 then they moved to Norwood, Minnesota and Joan went to work in Waconia, Minnesota as a bank teller. A year later she took a job as the Lincoln County Deputy Auditor. She retired from Lincoln County in November of 2009 after 22 years of service. A mere five months later Earl was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in April of 2010. In May of 2018 she entered the care of the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota. Earl preceded her in death in July of 2018. On Friday, April 1, 2022 she died peacefully at the Minnesota Veterans Home at the age of 82 years.
Joan was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton where she was involved with the Sunday School for a number of years. Joan enjoyed playing BINGO and dancing in her earlier years. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Lake Benton. Attending her grandchildren's activities kept her joyfully busy. Joan loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and also other family and friends.
She will be lovingly remembered by her son, Richard (Anita) Klitzke of White, South Dakota; a daughter, Karla (Timothy) Anderson of Elkton, South Dakota; five grandchildren, Justin (Jamie) Klitzke, Miranda (Ben) Deutz, Amber (Paul) Langner, Taylor (Lindsey) Anderson, and Abigail Anderson; seven great-grandchildren, Halle and Emilee Deutz, Blakely, Gracyn and Anderson Langner, Coen and Karsyn Anderson; a sister-in-law, Sharon Wodtke of Belle Plaine, Minnesota; and brother-in-law, LeRoy (Christine) Klitzke of Greybull, Wyoming; and many loving nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl; parents, Leon and Emma Wodtke; three brothers, Darrel, David, and Burdette Wodtke; and a sister, Marilynn McDonald.