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Joan Helene Carlson Evans passed away Feb. 3, 2011, at home.

She was born Oct. 8, 1931, Minneapolis, to Helen Martha (Wahll) Carlson and Carlyle Robert (Bob) Carlson Jr. Her big brother, Robert John Carlson, completed the family. Soon after she was born, the family joined her father in Welland, Ontario, Canada, for the first five years of her life. Then they moved to Waterloo, Iowa. While there, her father helped start the Girl Scout Council and Joan began almost 50 years of involvement with scouting. Summers were spent on Norway Lake near Pine River, Minn., with her very special Grandaunt Mathilda Horbach (Aunty), where there were fish and frogs to catch, swimming and rowing on the lake, chokecherries to pick, chickens to feed, and lots of lazy summer sun.

Joan was 12 when her father was transferred back to Minneapolis where she had grandparents, aunts and grandaunts, uncles and cousins. The family lived in St. Louis Park.

She graduated from St. Louis Park High School and from the University of Minnesota in 1953 with a BS degree in Occupational Therapy.

She was a member of SPAN (Student Project for Amity Among Nations) and spent a quarter in Peru, studying the silver industry - both the large commercial factories and the individual smiths high in the mountain villages. Her OT internships took her to Ann Arbor, Mich.; Honolulu; Los Angeles; and the Heart Hospital at Mayo Memorial Hospital at the U of Minnesota.

1953 was one of the most memorable years of her life. She graduated from college, took her first job as an OT at Lincoln, Neb., Park School in the children's handicap unit, and met Jerry (Jerome Perry) Evans. Two weeks later, they became engaged, then were married April 10, 1954, in the Chapel of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.

After Jerry graduated from Dental School in 1955, they moved to Billings. Joan start the first OT department at St. Vincent's Hospital, and worked there until the birth of their first child, Jay Robert in 1957. He was followed by Julie Helene and Jill Frances. Much of the family's time was spent on the ski slopes, camping and building their cabin on the Stillwater. After the children left home, she created many pieces of stained glass, did sewing for Kent Interiors, collected Blue Willow china, and read ... she would always have at least one book (but usually more) that she was reading. She enjoyed her home. She was a member of PEO Chapter BG.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her very special aunts Mary Ann Santee and Aunty.

She is survived by her husband, Jerry; brother Bob; daughters Jill and Julie; son Jay and wife Claire; grandchildren Tala, Keeler, Carson; and great-grandson Jaydin; and special cousin Judie (Jerry) Hess.

Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, the First Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, do something fun with your family, laugh and enjoy life. If you wish, make a memorial to Habitat for Humanity to help a family, Special K Ranch, or First Presbyterian Church.

Michelotti-Sawyers is in charge of arrangements and remembrances may be shared with the family at www.michelottisawyers.com.

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