Joann Margaret Mehus Olson

October 5, 1931 – March 14, 2022

Joan Margaret (Mehus) Olson, 90, Lake Mills, loving wife and mother, passed away at the Forest City Good Samaritan Center, Monday, March 14, 2022. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, March 18, at Salem Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, with Pastor Melinda McCluskey officiating.  Cremation will take place following the service with inurnment Saturday, March 19,at 11 a.m. in St. Olaf Lutheran Cemetery, rural Belmond. Visitation will be Thursday, March 17, from 5-7 p.m. at Schott Funeral Homes-Mittelstadt Chapel,  Lake Mills, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.

Joan was born Oct. 5, 1931, on a farm near Belmond, to parents Torkel and Oline (Rokke) Mehus.  She was baptized and confirmed at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, rural Belmond, and graduated from Belmond High School in 1949.  From 1949-1950 Joan attended Waldorf College, Forest City.  She started her teaching career in a country school near Belmond, a career that spanned over 31 years. 

On June 9, 1951, Joan was married to her sweetheart, Arlie Eugene Olson, of Iola, Wis.  Together they opened Olson TV, a television sales and service business located in Lake Mills.  After a 10-year pause to raise their son and daughter, Joan restarted her career as an elementary instructor, teaching at Thompson, Joice, and Lake Mills elementary schools.  A personal highlight year for Joan was in 1981, when she received her BA degree in education from Mankato State College.  Joan retired from teaching in 1993, after which she and Arlie enjoyed many years of traveling, camping and spending winters in Arizona, Texas and Alabama.

Joan had a passion for children, which was evident in the classroom and beyond.  This love for kids made her a favorite teacher among students.  She was also gifted in hospitality, planning gatherings of neighbors, friends and relatives, and welcoming those who were new to the community of Lake Mills.  Food was the common thread running through all of those events! Joan was an active member of Salem Lutheran Church in Lake Mills, serving as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, singing alto in the choir and participating in circle and Bible studies.  Joan was also a member of the Women’s American Legion Auxillary.  Her hobbies included puzzle building and sewing, but Joan’s favorite times were spent camping with family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She was a lady full of faith, known for her smile and endearing personality.

Joan is survived by her so,n Steve Olson (Nancy), Forest City; daughter, Christine Phelps (Steven), Maplewood, Minn./ grandchildren: Jesse Olson (Melanie), Joice;, Jon Olson (Virginia), Davenport; Michael Olson, Forest City; Lee Galland (Pamela), Grant, Minn.; Allison Schenian (Ryan), Woodbury, Minn.; Taylor Phelps (Somarrey), Aiea, Hawaii; and her sister, Mildred Lonnevik, Glenwood; along with seven great-grandchildren, several cousins, nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Arlie; infant twin sons, Daniel and David; her parents, Torkel and Oline Mehus; sisters: Nellie Just, Nettie Kimball, Pearl Moudy; and brothers: Donald Mehus and Jon Mehus.


Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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