Joan Elaine Polasky of Menomonie, WI passed away on Friday, November 26th, 2021 at St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester, MN. She died from a particularly aggressive cancer.
Joan was born on August 25th, 1958 in Waukesha, WI to parents Harold and Jeanne (Maney) Polasky and moved to Menomonie when she was 3 years old. While attending the old St. Joe’s Elementary School, she was a very active Brownie, Girl Scout and organizer of recess fun. During her Menomonie High School years, Joan was active in Home Ec. club, German club, supported sports teams as a pom-pom girl and worked at the Kernel Restaurant.
UW Madison granted Joan both a bachelors and masters degree in Business Administration and Finance. When not studying, she was working as a picture framer or librarian and crafting. And she never once missed a Saturday Badger home football game at Camp Randall during her entire college stay.
Joan’s business career led her to Chicago and St. Paul. As a project manager, she supported Information Technology and Leadership Development efforts. Later, Joan earned certification as a Personal and Professional Coach by attending the Coaches Training Institute in San Francisco. She started her own practice dedicated to helping people design the life they want to lead and live “on purpose.”
Joan loved nothing more than learning. She was always a student and always a teacher. Her other interests included life coaching, mental health advocacy, library programs, scuba diving, plants, and animal humane society support. The principle guiding Joan’s life from kindergarten to her last life session was: share joy and you will know joy. Her passion was to create joy always, and in all ways. The deepest joy she ever experienced was to love and be loved by her beloved dogs: Merlin (her miniature schnauzer) and Livi (her viscla).
In 2004 Joan returned to Menomonie where she enjoyed “simple abundance” - learning, doggie delight, friends, coffee dates, nature, reading, writing and various volunteer work. Much of her focus was with the Greater Menomonie Area Community Foundation, Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, Dunn County Humane Society, and the Menomonie Public Library.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Jeanne Polasky, a brother Jerry Polasky, paternal grandparents Frank and Celia Polasky, and maternal grandparents Louise and Burdette Mealy.
She is survived by special friends, Judy Schindler (Menomonie) and Ed Hewitt (Atlanta, GA). She is further survived by sisters, Judy (Carl Willard) Polasky and Mary (Nick) Rassbach; nieces, Anne (Jason) Hasse and their children, Grace, Adison, and Jai; Jill (Brent) Pember and their children, Chase and Tyler; sister-in-law, Pam Polasky; nephews, Joshua Polasky and Jon (Marcy) Polasky and their children, Jacob, Jackson, Annabeth, Elleanor, and many close friends. Joan had several close friends that definitely felt like family to her.
A Celebration of Joan’s life will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 PM Friday December 10th, 2021 at Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie, WI with a Memorial Service at 2:00 PM. The Memorial Service will be live streamed on the Rhiel Funeral Home Facebook page. Joan will be interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Menomonie.