Joan Elizabeth Myhre Baumgardner, RN, BSN, MSN, PhD., age 85 of Tallmadge, Ohio, died February 2, 2021. She was born January 2, 1936 in Spring Grove, Minnesota, the eldest of the nine children. Her parents, Arnold and Alice Munkel Myhre, preceded her in death.
Surviving are her husband, the Rev. Thomas Baumgardner of Tallmadge, OH; their daughters Elizabeth (Terry) Tucker of Gahanna, OH, Rebecca Baumgardner of Brunswick, OH, and Sara (Eddie) Vaughn of Summerfield, NC; grand-children Kristina Tucker of Tsingtao, China, Austin Vaughn of Woodbridge, NY, and Kari Vaughn of Chicago, IL.
Also surviving are her siblings Carolyn Solberg of Decorah, IA, Dorothy (Lyle) Bacon of Rochester, MN, Mary Newgaard of Spring Grove, MN, Helen Wiechmann of Lubbock, TX, Richard (Sylvia) Myhre of Marshfield, WI, Wayne (Susan) Myhre of Calmer, IA, and Lorraine (Dwight) Perkins of Thorp, WI, along with their children, Joan’s nieces and nephews. Also preceding Joan in death were her brother Gordon Myhre, and brothers-in-law Paul Solberg and Carter Wiechmann.
After growing up in Spring Grove, Joan completed nurses’ training at Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in Chicago, married Tom in 1957, and settled in Peoria, Illinois. She continued her calling as a nurse at various posts and eventually earned bachelor and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University. She was an instructor of nursing and Assistant Professor at the Lima Technical College as well as at the University of Akron, where she received a Ph.D. in 1988. While on the faculty at Akron, Joan led groups of students to Norway each summer for several years so they could have first-hand experience with healthcare in Norway, and see what nursing is like in a system outside the US.
She was a founding member of the Arctic Circle Lodge of the Sons of Norway and served as their social chair for many years. Her Norwegian roots were very dear to her. Perhaps that is why it was said that if one looked up “Minnesota Nice” in Wikipedia, one would find her picture.
After retirement from the University of Akron in 1998, she enjoyed trips with Tom, and their world traveling buddies, Clyde and Peggy McGee of Green, OH. Of many places visited ranging from Iceland to New Zealand, Joan’s favorite destination was Norway.
Joan may be honored with donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, Lutheran General and Deaconess Hospital Alumni Association, Chicago or Global Health Ministries, Minneapolis.
Tom and the rest of the family would like to express a special thank you to the nurses and aides in the Memory Care unit of the Danbury Senior Living facility in Tallmadge, and especially to the nurses and aides from Southern Care Hospice for their exemplary care in Joan's final days.
Visitation will be Friday, February 5, 2021 from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Hennessy-Bagnoli-Moore Funeral Home (corner of N. Main St. and Mildred Ave.). Funeral service will be Monday, January 8, 2021 at 11;00 am at Trinity Lutheran Church, 203 E Main St, Spring Grove, MN 55974. Joan's final resting place will be Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery in Spring Grove, MN. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Akron.
Due to Covid-19, we respectfully request that those attending Visitation will practice social distancing and wear face masks. If you are unable to attend or do not wish to attend, we understand your love and prayers will be appreciated.