New Richmond:
(715) 243-5252  |  
River Falls:
(715) 425-8788

Jo-Ann Woeste 11/14/2023

Jo-Ann Woeste, of River Falls, WI, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend, passed away on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.

Jo-Ann was born on Feb. 10, 1948 on the Big Island of Hawaii. Most of her childhood was spent on the island of Oahu where she graduated from Roosevelt High School. After high school she became a Northwest Airlines flight attendant leading her to the Twin Cities where she met her husband David. Subsequently they learned that David arrived by car from North Dakota on the same dark stormy night that she flew in from Honolulu. The two were married at Sacred Heart Church in Glen Ullin, North Dakota on June 17, 1972 and moved to River Falls in 1975 where Jo-Ann earned both an undergraduate and graduate degree while raising their family.

Jo-Ann was a selfless, patient and generous mother and friend who was accepting of all. She enjoyed spending time with her family, traveling, her ski and bridge groups, gift-giving, volunteering and providing an abundance of unusual snacks to her visitors.

Jo-Ann is preceded in death by parents Herman and Ellen (Yoshimura) Harrell. She is survived by her husband David Woeste; children Jessica Woeste, Peter (Sara) Woeste; brother Harvey Harrell; grandchildren Maci Wruck, Brodie Wruck, Griffin Woeste and Hazel Woeste; and many relatives and friends.

Visitation was held on Friday, December 1, 2023 from 4-7 pm at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services 805 E Division Street River Falls, WI and on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 1-2 pm at St. Bridget’s Church.  Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 2 pm at St. Bridget’s Church 211 E Division Street River Falls, WI and streamed live through the link just below this obituary.  Interment was in St. Bridget’s Cemetery in River Falls, WI. Memorials may be directed to the Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

Click here to watch the recording of Jo-Ann’s service


  • Anita Voiles Posted November 15, 2023 10:57 am

    Having known Jo-Ann since our kids were in St. B’s and also through the Hospital Auxiliary, she made an indelible impression on the lives of all she met along the way. Jo-Ann was a very special person and her loss will be felt by all who knew her.

    • Dave Posted November 16, 2023 12:23 pm

      Thank you

      • Josh Landon Posted March 4, 2024 11:45 pm

        Jessica I am so sad to see this. I know how close you were to your mom. You are your kids are in my thoughts.

    • Jessica Posted November 17, 2023 2:39 pm

      Thank you for your sweet words, Anita! She was very fond of you.

      • Anita Voiles Posted November 30, 2023 9:54 am

        Jessica, I was very fond of your sweet mother, also. They say people leave their footprints on another’s heart and your mother left hers on many, including mine.

  • Heidi A knegendorf Posted November 15, 2023 3:40 pm

    We were honored to have her at the kinnic.

    • Dave Woeste Posted November 16, 2023 12:25 pm

      Thank you for your help caring for her. Staff did a nice job and was kind to us.

  • LaVonne Goss Posted November 16, 2023 12:14 pm

    I’ve known Jo for many years. In years past, we skied together along with others known as the “Ski Group”. We will miss her terribly, but have very fond memories of her. Love you Jo.

    • Dave Woeste Posted November 17, 2023 1:32 pm

      She loved her “ski group” friends. You were all very dear to her

      • Jessica Posted November 17, 2023 2:40 pm

        She sure did!

      • Carole Bagley Posted November 26, 2023 2:17 pm

        Jo-Ann will be missed GREATLY by our ski group. We have so many memories of our trips and our getting together other than skiing. She will be remembered forever!

  • Patryce Thomas Posted November 16, 2023 4:37 pm

    Jo was our rock. We were friends beginning withe being roommates in our 20s. She was the one to bring common sense to us. I enjoyed all the adventures we had then and over the last decade as well. We will miss you so so much. There is never enough time to spend with a good friend.

    • Dave Posted November 17, 2023 1:34 pm

      She loved her old roomies dearly. She was a take charge person but did it in a gentle way. Occasionally stubborn.

    • Jessica Posted November 17, 2023 2:41 pm

      She loved her girl trips so much and really looked forward to them. You were all very special to her.

  • Craig and Rosanne Power Posted November 19, 2023 8:47 am

    We are deeply saddened to lose our longtime friend, Joanne. We raised our children together as we camped, skied at Telemark and in Colorado, shared holidays together etc. We have been in close contact with Dave through this journey. We want you, Jessica and Peter, to know how much our family loves you and sending you big hugs and prayers during this painful time. Your mother adored you and your children and only wanted happiness for all of you.

    • Jessica Posted November 19, 2023 12:55 pm

      Thank you so much. Those were some of the best memories! We miss you guys!

  • Dave Woeste Posted November 19, 2023 12:06 pm

    Thank you. We had some wonderful times together

  • Judy Posted December 14, 2023 6:29 pm

    I miss her. She was a true friend to me.

  • Gina Woeste Posted December 16, 2023 1:40 pm

    Jo-Ann was such a kind and beautiful soul. She had a great sense of humor, generous heart and was always genuinely interested in how you were doing. I know you are feeling such a tremendous loss when she passed, David, Jessica, Peter and family. May you find peace knowing she is in heaven with our families to wrap their loving arms around her.

  • Jon & Jackie Pedersen Posted December 20, 2023 3:27 pm

    Dave, we just heard of Jo-Ann’s passing. We are so sorry for your loss. We sure appreciated how you welcomed us to RFMC and loved the bond we had as fellow North Dakotans!

  • Christi [Knevel] Clore Posted January 5, 2024 5:09 pm

    So sorry Jo-Ann has passed away. I was grateful to be able to view the video of the funeral mass which was a beautiful service. I was very touched by Jessica’s words. Love to David, Jessica, and Peter, and to all Jo-Ann’s friends who loved her.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *