Obituary: Joan Coenen
Joan May Coenen, age 89 of Rhinelander, died April 14, 2021, at her “lake” home surrounded by her crazy, loud, loving family. Joanie was born in Appleton May 13, 1931, to Ivan and Cecilia (Schwab) Quade. She spent her childhood sneaking candies at her family grocery store and going to the movies on dimes. Joanie was a spitfire from the very start. She was born to make people laugh, and she did until the very end. She couldn’t be serious even if she tried.
Joanie joined the convent at the age of 18, but Joan wasn’t the average nun. She once jumped in a lake in full habit because she was hot. She fell asleep under the Christmas tree after drinking a couple of glasses of church wine, and along with a fellow nun, snuck into a bar because they were hungry for a hamburger.
After seven years, she left the convent and married her high school sweetheart, Ralph. They had five children together in 8 ½ years, and her adventures continued. She rode (and crashed) motorcycles, took care of five wild children (and managed to survive), bailed people out of jail (including the dog), made trips to the grocery store on her red scooter (which also had flames), and took her teeth out to entertain the grandchildren.
Joan was a woman of many passions and talents; her “toolbox” was full and filled by many. She loved to oil paint, draw, rock out on her accordion, play piano, write poetry, read novels and spend time with her family. Recently, Joan was the flower girl at her granddaughter’s wedding; she tossed the petals exuberantly and almost stole the show. Joanie was also a woman of many words, in fact, she never stopped talking. She always had advice to give, wisdom to share, a joke to make the day a little brighter, and a good story to tell. Joanie was a big fan of the Brewers, the Packers, The Sound of Music, the outdoors, planting flowers, sunshine, fun, hard work and waking up in the wee hours of the morning for a midnight snack. She had a big sweet tooth and always had “frozen vegetables” (aka candy bars) stashed in her freezer. Most importantly, she was a big fan of family; she was her children and grandchildren’s biggest fan and #1 supporter; they were her pride and joy.
Joanie lived a long, fun-filled, adventurous life. The question she always asked herself was, “I wonder how much I can get away with and still get into heaven?” and she lived that way from beginning to end. Joanie’s purpose in life was to cause a little trouble, make people laugh, and spread love and joy everywhere she went. She succeeded with flying colors. To know her was to love her and to love her was to laugh with her. She finally got her free ticket to her great reward, and she is dancing and singing her way through the pearly gates of Heaven. They do not know what they are in for, but they will soon find out!
Joan is survived by her five children, Paddi Coenen of Neenah, Doug (Katie) Coenen of Germantown, Joe (Nicole) Coenen of Rhinelander, John (Lisa) Coenen of Neenah, Kelly (Mike) Hoppe of Rhinelander; her seven grandchildren, Kaitlyn (Chris), Samantha, Sydney, Elaina, Blake (Alexa), Drew and Hayley. She will be dearly missed by all that knew her, especially by her children and grandchildren, but her humor and passion for life will live on forever.
Private services will be held with family with family friend Mother Meredyth Albright officiating. Interment will be in the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery. You may leave your private condolences for the Coenen family at www.carlsonfh.com. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Coenen family.