JoAnn A. Felton, age 92, of Ripon, Wisconsin, passed away on Sunday, July 23, 2023 with loving family by her side.
JoAnn was born September 10, 1930 to Nelson and Helen (Blackman) Davies in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She graduated from West High School then went on to Prospect Hall Secretarial School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1948 JoAnn married Chester Felton in Green Bay.
After attending secretarial school in Milwaukee, JoAnn started her career in life as a secretary for Westinghouse and throughout her life she worked as a secretary for several churches, First Baptist, St. Peters and Trinity Evangelical Free church. She was an avid outdoors person and was a Girl Scout Leader and Camp Director, her camp name was Daisy. She worked in the Green Bay Reformatory as an Arts and Crafts Teacher. She was an amazing seamstress and sewed her children’s clothes and hers and her husband’s clothes. She made the wedding dress for one of her daughter’s and all the bridesmaids dresses. If we dropped off our children for her to watch when they were young and we forgot to send clothes, they were wearing a new outfit she made when you picked them up at night. She was a quilter. She did leather tooling, rosemaling, knitting, crocheting and she was a great cook who could make a meal out of nothing. She loved to bake but always said I don’t dare eat it all so she baked for coffee hour at her apartment building, Central Park Apartments. JoAnn had a beautiful voice and she was a soloist, singing for weddings, funerals, church choir and she sang with the Ripon College Choral Union and went on a trip to Europe with the choir. She ran a small restaurant and then the Gordon Hotel, which included a restaurant in Laona, Wisconsin. She worked at a nursing home as a cook and she was also an the activities director at a nursing home. Once a month she brought all three of her daughters to birthday night at the nursing home and they helped with activities and serving birthday cake to the residents. She was a waitress at many establishments throughout her life. Upon retirement, she and her husband Chet moved to Waxhaw, North Carolina and worked as volunteers for 12 years with JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) through Wycliffe Bible Translations, making it possible for Bible Translation throughout the World. JoAnn was a force of nature, full of energy, unstoppable, unchallengeable and unforgettable.
She is survived by daughter Victoria (Dan) and their daughter Liz (Dave); daughter Christina (Mark) and their children Emily (Will), Nicholas (Sarah); daughter Deanna (Steve) and their children Amber (Roger), Amanda, Andrea (Joey); and 11 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents; loving husband, Chester Felton; brother, Richard Davies; sister, Ellen Davies; brothers-in-law, Pete Peterson, Gilbert Felton, Willard Felton; sisters-in-law, Delores Davies, Eileen Felton, Nancy Felton; nephew, Greg Davies.
A visitation for JoAnn will be held Saturday, August 12, 2023, from 9:30 am - 11:00 am at Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ, 343 Scott St, Ripon, WI.
Memorial service for JoAnn will be held Saturday, August 12, 2023, at Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ at 11:00 am, with Rev. Dr. Kevin P. Mundell officiating. You may view a livestream of JoAnn's service via the link below. Inurnment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. A memorial is being established in her name.