Joan Elizabeth (Larson) Zabel passed away on April 15, 2019 at the age of seventy-seven after several years of declining health. Her funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2019 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2019 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids Chapel. Interment will be in the Union Cemetery in Maplewood, MN at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2019. There will be a reception and visitation at Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel in Hastings, MN from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. following the graveside service. Funeral arrangments are under the care of Kahler Funeral Home. www.kahlerfh.com
Joan, the second of five children, was born on June 16, 1941 at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD to her parents, Ernest and Martha Larson. She grew up on her family’s farm east of Dell Rapids, SD and attended the country school in Minnehaha County. In seventh grade, she began attending school in Dell Rapids and she graduated from Dell Rapids High School in 1959.
After high school, Joan attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Later, Joan received a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, MN.
After graduating from Augustana College, Joan moved to Saint Paul, MN. She met and fell in love with her future husband, Gary D. Zabel. They married on October 16, 1966 and had three sons. Joan worked full-time for thirty-four years in nursing, nurse education, and nursing administration before retiring in 1999.
After Gary passed away in 2000, Joan moved back to Dell Rapids in 2005. She reconnected with her high school beau, Daniel T. DeVaney, and they began their life together. She continued to travel widely and spend time with friends and family.
Joan was active in her church, both in Saint Paul and Dell Rapids—many will remember her beautiful knitting and crocheting ministry—as well as many other community organizations.
Joan was also passionate about her Norwegian heritage, a fantastic cook, a lover of music, and a keen selector of dangly earrings.
Joan is survived by her loving partner, Dan; her sons Erik (Diane), Kurt (Laura), and Anthony; her grandchildren, Jolena (David), Aleaha (Alex), Esther, and Trygve; her siblings Solveig (Jim), Steven, and Rebecca; along with many cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Martha, her sister, Miriam, her husband, Gary, brother-in-law, Mike, and her daughter-in-law, Maren.
Joan was a strong, hard-working, and loving woman. She was a wonderful mother, sister, partner, grandma, aunt, cousin and colleague who will be greatly missed.