JoAnne Van Eps, age 83 of Morris, Minnesota, formerly of Hancock, MN, passed away on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, MN.

A public visitation for JoAnne will be held on Friday, July 24, 2020 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris. A private family funeral service will be held.

Burial will be at Lakeside Cemetery in Hancock MN.

While maintaining social distancing guidelines, Pedersen Funeral Home is now able to accommodate gatherings of up to 250 people. The use of face masks by attendees is recommended, and will continue taking the necessary steps to keep facility clean. For those who prefer or require continued precautions, webcasting and/or livestreaming is available in most situations.

There will be a live stream of JoAnne’s funeral service beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 25, 2020. To view the service on the Pedersen Funeral Home website, scroll to the bottom of JoAnne’s obituary page to view.  If you are unable to watch the live stream, a webcast of the funeral will be available.

JoAnne Muriel VerSteeg was born on August 24, 1936, in Tara Township, Swift County, MN, to Bert and Cornelia (Schrier) VerSteeg.  She grew up on a farm south of Hancock, MN.  JoAnne was baptized at the Christian Reformed Church in Hancock.  She attended District #17 country school and graduated from Hancock High School in 1954 and was the salutatorian of her class.  Following her education, she worked at the telephone company until 1955.

On June 21, 1955, she was united in marriage to Marvin Van Eps at the Christian Reformed Church Parsonage in Hancock.  While raising 8 children, she stayed home to care for them and Marvin worked.  This meant that there wasn’t a lot of money, so she would find ways to help support the family.  She was an entrepreneur long before we heard of that term.  She must have started over 10 small businesses from their little farm!  Some of her business ventures include: selling candles that she made in the basement, plaster wall hangings she made and painted, hand sown vinyl purses, she decorated cakes, she raised, sold eggs, and butchered chickens, then there were the vegetables!  With 8 children to help – sometimes – she made a big business for their family.  Selling sweet corn and potatoes was first and then she planted acres of cucumbers and drove to Herman to sell them – she would pack the station wagon full of bushels of cucumbers. Soon after, she and Joyce Pieske started a farmer’s market in Morris where she sold so many vegetables for over 30 years.

After that, she took an oil painting class and started selling paintings at craft shows eventually adding cross stitch, wall hangings, painted signs, wood paintings, and scroll work.  Surely, many of you still have one of her creations in your home or yard.  Even with all of that she helped to start the Morris clothing bank and the Harvest festival at the fairgrounds.

She has lived her whole life in this area and was very independent.  JoAnne also loved woodworking, and camping with family, Itasca State Park being her favorite.  Most importantly, she cherished the time that she could spend with her family.

JoAnne is survived by her children: Karen (Greg) Schiebout of Moravia, IA, Laura (Craig) Jones of Alexandria, MN, Bernard (Lois) Van Eps of Chokio, MN, Marilyn (Russell) Hoge of Aneta, ND, Jonn (Debbie) Van Eps of Blaine, MN, Arvin (Sharon) Van Eps of Morris, MN, and Mike (Julie) Van Eps of Wahpeton, ND; son-in-law: Steve Gease of Fergus Falls, MN; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; one sister: Pat (Robert Sr.) Pollema of Sioux Center, IA.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband: Marvin; daughter: Judi; grandson: Joel Schiebout; and one sister: Lenore VerSteeg.

Please consider leaving a personalized photo/message for the family through Pedersen Funeral Home Heartstrings Program which is located at  Pedersen Funeral Home will display your photo/message for the family to have a tangible presence at their services through this difficult time.

Pedersen Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.


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