Joan M. Kleist

Joan M. Kleist, age 98, of Tomahawk, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, at Tomahawk Health Services. Joan was born in Portage, Wis., on April 21, 1925, to the late Emil and Anne (Kopelmeyer) Budde. She was married to John Kleist on Sept. 30, 1945; he passed away on July 9, 2000.

Joan was a 1943 graduate of Portage High School. While John served in the military overseas, Joan lived with her parents awaiting the birth of their first child. She worked for over 30 years as a receptionist for Portage Hosiery, a job that was well fitted for her outgoing and social personality. She and John traveled extensively, visiting all 50 states and Canada. Later in life, she enjoyed traveling with family. Joan loved visits to the casino and looked forward to the bus trips to various casinos with friends she met along the way. She cherished time spent playing cards with her grandchildren and they loved the memories in return.

Survivors include her son, John “George” (Kristen) Kleist, of Tomahawk; and her daughter, Judy (Russell) Shaw, of Portage. She is further survived by her four grandchildren, Jesse Theiler, Mike Theiler, Jenny Smith, and Kim Shaw, in addition to eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Anne; her husband, John; and her three brothers, Bruce Budde, Dean Budde, and Bill Budde. In accordance with Joan’s wishes, no formal services will be held. Generations Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family.

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