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Joan C. Rustad-Huisman, 65

Apr 17, 2016

Joan Rustad-Huisman

Blue Earth Joan Carol Rustad-Huisman, age 65, of Blue Earth passed away April 7, 2016.

Funeral Service was Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at the Trinity Lutheran Church of Blue Earth. Burial was in the United Lutheran Cemetery of Frost.

She was born Dec. 20, 1950, to Harold and Mavis (Berge) Rustad of Northwood, Iowa. Joan was very proud of her Norwegian heritage. She was a ‘full blood’: Rustad + Berge = Uff Da! Joan was a loving daughter and a doting, very tolerant sister to her two younger brothers. She loved growing up on the farm and enjoyed being able to have cousins close by. She graduated from Northwood Kensett High School and then went on to get an education degree from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, with a PE major and a Math minor. She enjoyed college life and made several lifelong friends, who still get together every two years for a good time!

From 1974-79, Joan taught Physical Education at Rosanna High School, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, where she made several lasting friendships among her colleagues and students. After returning to the U.S. she taught math in Brewster, and began courses at the University of Minnesota to complete her Math major. In 1981 she began a 30-year career in the Blue Earth Area Schools, where she taught a variety of math courses in grades 7-12. She also sponsored the Math Counts competition, coached three sports (volleyball, basketball, and softball), and taught Community Ed Social Dance. She was an active member of Education Minnesota-BEA, where she served as an officer and as a member and chair of several committees. She was proud of her membership in the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics, where she served on several state-level committees and participated in a variety of workshops. She was also a member of the Best Practices Network-Math, and gave presentations and workshops around the area. Joan loved teaching and was a dedicated, conscientious, demanding professional, both in and out of the classroom. Many times she would bring schoolwork along on road trips and would diligently correct papers on the way to her destination.

On June 18, 1988, she was united in marriage to John Huisman, her “Boss” at BEAHS, on the lawn of the family farm in Northwood. For their honeymoon they cruised the Greek isles with twin beds in their cabin! They continued their honeymoon travels with a trip to Australia to introduce John to her friends there. To this union was born one son, Quinn Erik, aka Hootie Horatio Huisman and Honey Bear, in 1995. Joan’s family was complete and she and John’s lives were exponentially enriched. (I had to get a math term in somewhere!)

Joan loved to travel both before and after her marriage. Joan, John, and Quinn enjoyed their last family trip in May-June of 2015 when they traveled to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. The family enjoyed biking and taking many camping trips throughout the U.S. and Canada. They also enjoyed traveling with friends throughout the U.S., generously sharing their timeshares in Texas, Utah, Washington, North Carolina, Missouri, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Arkansas. JJQ and friends also enjoyed trips to Australia, Nova Scotia, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Joan and Lill took a memorable trip to England, Scotland and Wales in 1985. There were also trips to the Children’s Theater and Andrew’s family cabin in northern Wisconsin with the “Blue Earth/Bricelyn Family.” Joan belonged to several community and church groups including PEO, her investment club, and the Trinity Handbell Choir.

Joan was an avid quilter, who made quilts for all six of her nieces, the Jacobson girls, and, of course, Quinn. She loved to read, do puzzles, and work in the yard and garden. She enjoyed all kinds of physical activity from walking and hiking to yoga and water aerobics (with the Mermaids). She loved taking pictures and compiled albums full of family and friends’ activities; her camera was always at the ready and she knew how to operate that timer. Joan was also a warm and welcoming hostess, from John’s fellow DFLers to her PEO group to the ladies from school to dinners for family and friends.

Joan is survived and sorely missed by her husband, John and son, Quinn; brothers, Roger (Debbie) of Northwood and Arlyn (Kerin) of Walters; six nieces, other relatives, many dear friends, teaching colleagues and former students in two countries. Also missing Joan are Swiss foreign exchange student, Lorenz Gebhard, and his family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, four uncles and three aunts, most recently, Rena and Helen.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Joan Rustad-Huisman Scholarship Foundation or the Blue Earth PEO. Online condolences at www.pattonfh.com