Cover photo for Joean "Jo" Schmidt's Obituary
Joean "Jo" Schmidt Profile Photo
1931 Joean 2020

Joean "Jo" Schmidt

July 3, 1931 — November 25, 2020

Joean “Jo” Diane Schmidt age 89 passed away November 25, 2020 at Pioneer Care in Fergus Falls, MN.

She was born in De Smet, SD on July 3, 1931 to Albert and Merced (Bishop) Bernauer. In 1941 due to her father’s promotion the family moved to Wadena, MN where he became manager of the JC Penny store. Jo graduated high school from Wadena and then attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities for 3 years. On July 19, 1952 she married her high school sweetheart James Carl Schmidt. The couple lived in Minneapolis, Willmar, Eau Claire and St. Cloud, before settling in Elbow Lake, MN with their baby Susan. The family lived and grew in Elbow Lake for 14 years while Jim owned and operated Schmidt Chevrolet. In 1969 the family that now included daughters Cindy and Jami moved to Fergus Falls.

Jo was a homemaker and volunteer along with supporting Jim in his car business. She was an active member and Elder of the Federated Church in Fergus Falls. Jo was also a member of AAUW and a volunteer for American Cancer Society, Food Shelf, Meals by Wheels, Reading for the Blind, Friends of the Library, Hospital Gift Shop, A Center for the Arts, YMCA, and a volunteer driver. At 83 years old she was recognized for her lifelong volunteerism when she received the Degree of Honor’s “National Volunteer of the Year Award”. In 1983 she returned to school to complete her Bachelor’s Degree at NDSU. Since childhood Blanche Lake held a special place in her heart. Jo was a lifeguard into her seventies and still swimming across Blanche. She leaves behind a legacy of love and a model for selfless giving. She touched many lives.

Preceding her in death were her parents, beloved husband Jim, and brothers-in-law David Morstad and Warren Gaslin. Survivors include (in her own words) three special, wonderful and thoughtful daughters and their families: Susan (Charles) Miller - Casper, WY, Cindy (Jay) McDougall - Fergus Falls, and Jami (Mike) McRoberts - Pickerel Lake. Grandchildren: Meadow (James “Vinnie”) Forget, Noah Miller, McKenzie Wachlarowicz, Max McDougall, Molly McDougall and fiancé Paul Reopelle, Myria Kirkpatrick, and Riley McRoberts. Great Grand Children: Christian, Tyler, Gerald, Matt, Jon, Jonathan, Mason, Cecilia, Caroline, Jackson, Bennett, Cameron. Great Great Grandchild Aiden. Siblings: Marilyn Morstad, Sally Gaslin, John Bernauer, and David (Mary) Bernauer.

Celebration of Life Gathering: Open House from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 in the Fellowship Hall at Federated Church in Fergus Falls.

Memorials are suggested to the Federated Church, Fergus Falls YMCA, or the donor’s choosing.

Arrangements are provided by the Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls
Online condolences may be sent to
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joean "Jo" Schmidt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, July 20, 2020

9:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree