JoAnn was born Oct. 18, 1935, in Le Mars, the daughter of Henry and Mildred (Nilles) Harpenau.
JoAnn was raised in the Remsen area and graduated from Remsen St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1953. She worked at Aalfs Manufacturing in Le Mars and Farmer's Savings Bank in Remsen.
She married Ervin Ahlers Oct. 16, 1956, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen. They farmed north of Remsen until moving into town in 1994. JoAnn worked at Happy Siesta and Remsen Apparel for 14 years until retiring. She had been a resident of Happy Siesta since November 2009.
JoAnn was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church of Remsen Christian Women's Guild and past member of Catholic Daughters of America.
She enjoyed square dancing, mixed league bowling, card club, birthday club, pinochle at the nursing home, going out to eat and spending time with family and friends.
Survivors include her husband, Ervin of Remsen; three daughters, Renee and Ron Strand of Spirit Lake, Karen Foushee of Sioux City, LuAnn and Dave Hintz of Aberdeen, S.D.; three sons, Paul and Mary Ahlers, Ken and Bonnie Ahlers and Keith and Cindy Ahlers, all of Remsen; 19 grandchildren; Melissa Strand of Sioux City, Laura and Josh Sherburne of Hopkins, Minn., Stephanie Strand of Spirit Lake, Matt Ahlers of El Dorado, Kan., Steve and Audrey Ahlers of Colo, Amanda and Dusty Heitmann of Galva, Jessica Ahlers of Remsen, Kendra and Brent Richter of Columbus, Neb., Stacie Ahlers of Remsen; Kayla and Kimberly Foushee of Sioux City, IA; Ryan Buffington of Oshkosh, WI, Jacob and Joanie Ahlers, Craig, Justina and Shaylynn Ahlers, all of Remsen, Catherine and Danielle Hintz of Aberdeen, S.D.; five great-grandchildren; four sisters; Cloette and Darrel Schroeder of Le Mars, Rosemary and Denis Schilmoeller of Granville, Ann and Larry Galles of Remsen, and Carol Harpenau of Omaha, Neb.; three brothers, Clarence and Veronica Harpenau, Rich and Pauline Harpenau, Jim and Mary Lea Harpenau, all of Remsen; one sister-in-law, Lou and Jim Gergeni of Le Mars.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Jeanette, in infancy; one brother, Paul Harpenau; her parents-in-law, Lawrence and Olivia Ahlers; brother-in-law Mike Pohlen; and one grandson, Lucas Ahlers.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m., Tuesday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen with the Rev. Bill McCarthy and Rev. Richard Ball from Granville. Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Remsen. Visitation will be anytime after 2 p.m. today (Monday), and there will be a parish rosary at 3 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., all at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen.
Casketbearers will be Steve, Jacob and Craig Ahlers, Brent Richter, Dusty Heitmann and Josh Sherburne.
Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.