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Obituary for Joan Reitz

Joan was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on February 28, 1927, and died on May 19, 2018, in Northfield, Minnesota at the age of 91. Joan grew up as the only child of Hazel Cutshaw Zink and William Charles Zink. Her parents ran grocery stores in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois–sometimes in association with her maternal aunt and uncle. After her parents separated and her mother remarried, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio where Joan enrolled in John Marshall High School. She met Robert (Bob) Alan Reitz during eleventh grade and they dated regularly. They were married in July 1948 while Bob […]

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Joan was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on February 28, 1927, and died on May 19, 2018, in Northfield, Minnesota at the age of 91. Joan grew up as the only child of Hazel Cutshaw Zink and William Charles Zink. Her parents ran grocery stores in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois–sometimes in association with her maternal aunt and uncle. After her parents separated and her mother remarried, they moved to Cleveland, Ohio where Joan enrolled in John Marshall High School. She met Robert (Bob) Alan Reitz during eleventh grade and they dated regularly. They were married in July 1948 while Bob was attending Case Western Reserve.
They moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois in 1950 where Bob pursued a Doctorate degree in Physics at the University of Illinois. Two children, David and Janet, were born. Bob secured a teaching position at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1954. They built a house on Bunday Court and two more children, Linda and Doug, were born. Their neighborhood had many young families and Joan became actively involved with book clubs, coffee klatches and various committees. Much of their lives revolved around academia and they made many close friends with other faculty families.
Travel was an important part of family life. In the early years, it was travel back to see family in Cleveland. Over time, camping trips out West to the National Parks became more frequent. In 1963, their family had a sabbatical year in Stuttgart, Germany where the four children were enrolled in German primary school. They bought a VW Bus and traveled all over Europe. It was a transformative experience for the entire family.
Bob and Joan had another sabbatical year at Stanford University in 1972, a semester at Scripps Research Center and University of Washington in 1987. Joan worked at both St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges from 1973 through 1989. She ended her working career in the Chaplain’s Office at Carleton.
Bob decided to retire from Carleton in 1990 after 38 years of teaching. Bob and Joan were active in their retirement years with travel to visit their children and see the world. There were family reunions in Canon Beach, Oregon; Glacier National Park; Grand Tetons National Park and Burntside Lake, Minnesota. Their Elderhostel, cruise and birding trips took them to Europe (10 trips), Central America (4 trips), Asia (3 trips), South America, Alaska and Hawaii.
While Joan never was able to attend college, she was an insatiable curiosity about people and the world. She was very well read and loved to write. Joan was passionate about family and was considered a true and loyal friend by many people. She loved to cook and was active in her church choir (First United Church of Christ), the Margaret Evans Huntington Book Club, Northfield Arts Guild and Northfield Historical Society.
Joan is survived by her husband, Robert, (Bob), and her four children: David (Carol Schrader) of Edina, Minnesota and their two sons, Karl and Eric; Janet (the late Ric Boge) of Seattle, WA, and her two daughters, Kari and Sadie; her daughter Linda (Paul Baldwin) of Seattle, WA, and their daughter Amanda and son Andrew; Doug (Charlotte Pavelka) of Libertyville, IL, and their daughter Diedre and son Derek. Joan is survived by eight great-grandchildren. A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at First United Church of Christ in Northfield, Minnesota. Gifts can be made in Joan’s memory to the First United Church of Christ or donor’s choice.

Service day and time will be published when determined.

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Funeral

2:00 PM - June 15, 2018


Visitation One Hour Before Service
First United Church of Christ
300 Union St Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

1 Comment

  1. Paul Ellingboe

    Bob, Dave and Carol, and Joan’s entire family, Please accept our deepest condolences on the loss of Joan. Pal and Bonnie

    Reply

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