Joan Karalee Hard (Jo)


Joan Karalee Hard (Jo), loving wife, mother of two, and grandmother of four, passed away due to COVID on Friday, February 19, 2021 at the age of 76 in Casa Grande, AZ.

Joan was born on April 3, 1944 in Hancock, MI to Sid and Lu Erickson. Her family moved to Bemidji, MN when she was a young child. This is where she grew up along with her two younger sisters. Joan graduated from Bemidji State University (BSU) with degrees in Art and Music. While in college, Joan was in the BSU marching band.

Right after college Joan moved to Washington D.C. and a year later she moved to Long Beach, CA. While living in CA Joan met her future husband, Amos (Marty) Hard, who was serving in the Navy. After talking they discovered they attended BSU at the same time but never met, however Joan claimed she recognized Marty’s laugh from campus. Joan and Marty were married on February 15th, 1969 in Bemidji.

After getting married they returned to Bemidji where Amos finished his degree and they had two babies (Trent and Cari). They moved to Northfield, MN in 1972 for Amos’ teaching job. Joan raised the kids and eventually worked at the Northfield school system as an aide and substitute teacher and later as an art teacher and media generalist after completing two additional degrees. Once retired they opted for the lake life on 11th Crow Wing in Akeley, MN for nearly 20 years. During the winter seasons they enjoyed spending time with friends and family in Casa Grande, AZ.

She will be remembered fondly for her vitality, positive attitude, infectious smile, kindness, and boundless energy. She loved to decorate, sew, dance, play pickleball, golf, walk, bike, craft & paint, party-plan, bake, read, play card games, bargain shop, garden, travel, play piano, laugh with friends and family, and watch her grandkid’s activities.

Joan was preceded in death by her father and mother, Sid and Lu (Wright) Erickson, and in-laws Al and Margaret (Tauer) Hard. She is survived and missed terribly by husband Amos Hard (Northfield, MN), son Trent (Sheri) Hard and their children Matthew and Sam (Warroad, MN), daughter Cari (Paul) Bullemer and their children Oliver and Lucy (Long Lake, MN), her sister Barbie Erickson (Fargo, ND) and her youngest sister Jaci Erickson (Bemidji, MN).

Memorial plans are pending in Northfield.

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