Joan Helen Dommer: If you are about to cook a gourmet meal, play bridge, or tuck into a box of See’s Chocolates, remember Joan Dommer, who entered eternal life on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Her spirit is carried on by her loving husband and bridge partner, Jerry; her 4 children, Mark (Ruth) Dommer, Susie (Jay) Lauer, Meredith (Keith) Hamberg, and Barbara (Jeff) Leiknes; 10 grandchildren, Randy, Michelle (Mark), Johanna (John), Johnny, Rachel, Caity (Aaron), Nick (Brittney), Emmy, Annika, and Daene; 2 great-grandchildren, Shay and AJ; and 1 brother, Ron (Barb) Rakowski. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends.
Joan was born on June 21, 1930, in Norfolk, Nebraska, the daughter of Richard and Clara (Kreuch) Rakowski. Her father died at age 39 and she then assumed a prominent role in the household. Jerry and Joan met at age 15 in high school and their love story never ended.
We are blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Joan during her 88 years, among them: If there’s a mouse in your kitchen, get out the vacuum cleaner. If there’s a No Trespassing sign, that means come right in (or please enter and enjoy). Why have one vegetable for dinner when you can have five! Why cater when you can cook the entire meal yourself! When married 66 years ago, Jerry and Joan agreed early on Jerry would make the big decisions and Joan would make the small decisions. Fortunately, there has never been a big decision!
After obtaining a two-year teaching certificate at Norfolk Junior College and before she was married, Joan taught in Sioux City, Iowa and Yankton, South Dakota. She and Jerry married on August 3, 1952 and have lived in Watertown, Wisconsin since 1964.
Joan was active in League of Women Voters, Euterpe Club, Community Concert series, Watertown Memorial Hospital, and at her churches in Lincoln, Dubuque, and Watertown. She was a founding member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. For many years, Joan enjoyed vacationing in Door County at “The Cottage.” She never sat down except to read a book or play Bridge!
At age 52 when her youngest daughter went to college, Joan decided to join Barbara in the college life and pursue her four-year Bachelors-Degree in Education at UW-Whitewater. She worked as a teacher in a variety of settings, enjoying her time at Watertown High School the most. Joan also taught a cooking class called “Company Coming” at MATC. This led to the formation of her Gourmet Club which has been active for 38 years.
Joan is preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Jean; and a brother, Dick.
Memorials in Joan’s honor may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or Rainbow Hospice Care.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church with Pastor Groth presiding. Visitation will be held from 1:00 PM until the time of service at the church.