Joan Wanda (Stevenson) Gutknecht
Joan Wanda (Stevenson) Gutknecht 92, of Merrill, Wisconsin went to be with her Lord and Savior peacefully in her home on December 5th, 2020. Joan was born April 12, 1928 in Merrill to Hjalmar and Alma Stevenson. Her childhood was filled with love and laughter making many great memories that lasted her lifetime. On October 11th, 1947 she married Roger A. Gutknecht which began a marriage that lasted 73 years. They had 3 daughters, Wanda, Linda and Susan. Joan loved to entertain, cook and be with family and friends. Before she met Roger, she worked for Wisconsin Public Service and then became a stay-at-home mom. Later she worked as a secretary for several businesses. She was a girl scout leader for 10 years and the cookie chairman for 5 of those years. She enjoyed knitting, embroidery crosswords puzzles. She was a charter member of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Merrill where she joyfully served in many capacities, Sunday School teacher, Bethany Guild and cooking and hosting for youth and adult events. Joan was one of the first campers at Crescent Lake Bible camp in Rhinelander. Over the years she volunteered to clean cabins and cook for campers. Joan and Roger also loved and supported Camp Forrest Springs in Rib Lake. She volunteered as a Gray Lady at Pine Crest Nursing Home. She attended the Christian Woman’s Club in Wausau and then helped to start the one in Merrill. Joan and Roger were members of Gideons International where they served for over 45 years. In 1966 they purchased and grew Whispering Pines Mobile Home Court and Sales. In 1988 they developed East Gate Condominiums. In 1982 they opened the “Wisconsin Christmas Trees” business in Fayetteville Arkansas. At the Lincoln Country Fair they sold Granny’s Apples with their grandchildren for many years.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her three brothers, Floyd, Lee and Dale Stevenson and her 2 sisters Lola Waid and Vera Sutton. Survivors include her husband Roger, three daughters, Wanda (Don) Harris of Merrill, Linda (Steve) Mittelstadt of Marco Island, Florida and Susan (Dennis) Bergthold of Siloam Springs, AR. Seven grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. One surviving sister-in-law, Marlene Stevenson.
Joan was known for her love of people, humor and her love for her Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says- “If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed and the new has come.” Donations can be made in her memory by going to www.gideons.org or by picking up a Gideon In Memory Card at Bible Presbyterian or Waid Funeral Home.
Visitation will be held on Friday December 18th, 2020 at Waid Funeral Home in Merrill from 11am to 5pm. A private family service will be held on Saturday, December 19th, 2020 at Bible Presbyterian Church in Merrill at 11am. Pastor Andy Perry will officiate. Entombment at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery will immediately follow the service. The service will be live streamed on the Facebook page, “Remembering Joan Gutknecht “ Please wear masks and social distancing will be practiced at the funeral home and church. Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.