Joan C. Buechel (nee Blonigen), age 82, of Elkhart Lake, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at Sharon S. Richardson Hospice in Sheboygan Falls.

She was born in Mt. Calvary on June 24, 1934, daughter of the late Henry and Philomena (Weber) Blonigen.

Joan attended St. Cloud Catholic Grade School and later attended St. Mary Springs Catholic High School.

On June 30, 1956, she married Lawrence L. Buechel in St. Cloud, WI. He preceded her in death on June 17, 1993.

Joan worked for 30 years at Sargento Foods in Plymouth, retiring in 1995.

She was a member at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Elkhart Lake where she also volunteered to help with various projects and belonged to the Christian Women organization and prayer guild. She was also a member and treasurer of the “Mad Hatters” (formerly the Racy Red Hatters) and belonged to several bowling leagues in her “younger days.”

She so enjoyed sharing her time and talents to help others, whether by organizing “social outings” for her friends and fellow Sargento retirees, bowling in various leagues, chauffeuring the “ladies”, or volunteering at the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District working with students and in the library. In recognition of her many years of service, she was presented with the ELG Education Association Friend of Education award in 2007. While her late husband, Larry, officially was the EL Fire Chief, coach of various softball and city basketball teams, and treasurer of his bowling league, Joan was his “assistant” working behind the scenes to help with all his various volunteer positions. They were a team that worked hard together but also took time to enjoy. No matter the event in which they were involved, fun times would be had after with their friends and family playing cards, shaking dice, enjoying a cocktail or two, and sharing many stories and lots of laughs.

Early in her retirement years, Joan enjoyed taking trips with friends and family members, doing both foreign and domestic travel. One of her goals was to visit all 50 states of which she managed to do 37 before her health slowed down her traveling days. She loved “outings” such as gambling trips, bus excursions, and attending plays and concerts. She was a season ticket holder to the Sheboygan Community Theatre and Broadway Series in Milwaukee for many years.

Most of all, Joan loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She taught them many games, such as dice-shaking and Tripoly, and saved up her pennies and dimes so all the kids would have money with which to play. Family was most important to her, and this was very obvious as to all the preparations, hours, and love she put in to prepare for each visit. The only time she would be distracted from her family was when her beloved Brewers were playing, with the Packers being a close second. It was well-known to never call during games!

Joan will most be remembered for her feisty nature, strong will, determined nature and deep faith which saw her through many trials and health issues. She also had a way of getting others, especially her children, to help with many projects. It was a well-known fact that when “Mom” said “Let’s do this” it actually meant we’d all just taken on a new job. In her later years, when she was no longer able to be as active, she still managed to lead the family from her recliner without missing a beat. In addition, she was the best listener as she was not easily flustered (no matter what was thrown at her) and gave very sage advice. With her passing, her children not only lost their mother, but also their best friend and confidant.

Survivors include her children: Kim (Craig) Mesun of Plymouth, MN, Joy (Lew) Bettinger of Plain, WI, Ann (Tim) Haack of Elkhart Lake, WI, and Tod Buechel of Pam- pano Beach, FL; grandchildren: Laurel Mesun, Nicole Bettinger (special friend: Chris Zeidler), Alison Bettinger (special friend: Matthew Slepica) all of Madison, WI, Jamie Haack of Howards Grove, WI, and Travis (Lindsay) Haack of Rio, WI; great-grandchildren: Jaiden, Khloe, and Kambrielle Haack; sisters and brother: Bernice (Larry) Kohlmann, Lucy Lefeber, and Jerry Blonigen, Sisters and Brother-in-law: Alice Blonigen, Marge Blonigen, Racheal (Richard) Hellmer and Darrel “Red” McArthur; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, parents, father and mother-in-law Lawrence and Hulda (Arndt) Buechel, Brothers and Sisters: Cyril (Zelda) Blonigen, Roger (Julie) Blonigen, Harvey Blonigen, Alois Blonigen, Verena (Leo) Dreifuerst, Vernon (Loretta) Blonigen, Eugene (Delores) Blonigen, Irene McArthur, and Robert Blonigen; Sisters and Brothers-in-law: Dolores Blonigen, Harold (Emma) Buechel, Dolorus (Ray) Pippert, Arlyle (Harold) Guenther, Wally (Gladys) Buechel, Fred “Fritz” (Valeria) Buechel, Barbara (Tony) Schirmer, and Janet (Chuck) Leon.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday evening (January 18, 2017) at 6:30 P.M. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Elkhart Lake. Father Dennis Van Beek will officiate. Burial will be in the St. Thomas Aquinas North Cemetery in the Town of Rhine.

Visitation will take place at the church on Wednesday (Jan. 18) from 3:00 P.M. until the time of Mass.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Joan’s name or may be directed to any of the following: Elkhart Lake- Glenbeulah Education Foundation in support of the All-Inclusive Playground Project, Elkhart Lake Fire Department or St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Elkhart Lake.

The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Plymouth is serving the family. For online condolences, please visit

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