JoAnn Helen (Lake) Auer was born February 3rd 1932 in Guttenberg, Iowa, daughter of Alois and Leonilla (Steger) Lake. Her childhood was filled with wonderful memories of living above the family owned hardware store. Her community involvement started at a young age. She was the city park recreational director during the summer months and was elected for Girls State. She graduated from St Mary High School and then graduated from Clarke College earning a Bachelor of Arts Music Degree. Her love of music moved her to Strawberry Point, Iowa where she taught music for grades K-12. On December 31st, 1955 JoAnn was united in marriage to Dr. George G. Auer at St Mary Catholic Church in Guttenberg, Iowa. After marriage she moved with her husband to Detroit, Michigan while George was undergoing his general surgery training. They later returned home to Guttenberg to raise their family of eight children while George was practicing surgery servicing northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.
JoAnn was very involved in many different organizations and clubs including the hospital auxiliary, hospital gift shop, volunteering at the American Red Cross blood drives, March of Dimes, Guttenberg Book Club and Music Boosters. Her service for volunteerism was awarded by the Governor of Iowa Terry Brandstad.
JoAnn was a lifelong Catholic dedicating her life to the church and her family. Her joy of music was demonstrated in being involved in St Mary’s church choir. She was also a Eucharistic Minister and volunteered in the lunch room and library at St Mary’s School.
Besides being a very busy mother to eight children and a wife to a general surgeon, she enjoyed reading books, riding her bicycle and taking walks. She was an avid Cubs fan and Iowa Hawkeye fan. She always had time to stop and have a conversation even with strangers and leaving as friends.
She enjoyed being surrounded by her family and would always extend an open invitation to the family home. Her favorite family past time was enjoying a beautiful summer day boating on the Mississippi with all of her children and grandchildren.
Those left to cherish her memory are her children: Mary (Mike) Tangeman, Diane (Roger) Hess, John (Sandy) Auer, Dr. Linda (David ) Brown III, Grace Auer, Gloria (Sean) Maxwell, and Dr. David (Misty) Auer; grandchildren, Dr. Jennifer(Nick) Mixdorf, Michele Tangeman, Marlene, Hollyann, and Sophia Hess, Amber Hagen, Billy and Amanda Auer, Mac and George Brown, Hope and Haley Heitman, and Isabella, Gabriel, John Paul, and Emeric Auer; great grandchildren Nathanael, Adam, Martin and Nora Mixdorf; in-laws Wilma Lake, Patricia Auer, Dr. James Auer; niece Dr. Mary Beth Lake (Hasson), nephews Jeffrey Lake, Joseph Lake, Dr. Peter Lake and Andrew Lake. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Dr. George Auer, her brother Dr. Carlton Lake, her daughter Lisa (Auer) Hagen, brother-in-laws Theodore Auer, Fr. Robert Auer, Robert Niehaus and sister-in-law Bernita Auer.
Donations can be made in honor of JoAnn Auer to St Mary/Immaculate Conception School in Guttenberg.
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