JoAnn L. Peterson, 64, of Cambridge and Punta Gorda, Fla., died suddenly Oct. 16, 2013 from a stroke.
JoAnn was born July 9, 1949 in Minneapolis. She was fourth of 10 children, to John and Gertrude (Thunstrom) Erickson.
JoAnn was baptized and confirmed at Cambridge Lutheran Church and graduated with Distinction from Cambridge High School in 1967. This was just the beginning of many accomplishments, but most important to JoAnn was her family and friends.
She began her career early recognized by her steno instructor and referred to Dablow and Johnson Law Firm. She had yet to graduate but was already showing her determination and focus to succeed. After graduating from High School she continued to work at the firm and enrolled in night school in Minneapolis to become a paralegal. The days started early and never ended.
JoAnn moved on to her next endeavor at Arthur Andersen & Co. in Minneapolis. She married later that year and was blessed with the birth of her daughter Nicole, in 1972. Soon after the birth of Nicole, she moved back to Cambridge with the advice from yet another established law firm, Briggs and Morgan. She was always striving to achieve to accomplish more. As a single mom, her drive became even greater and found herself yet earning a position with Anfinson & Hendrickson Accounting Firm. She really enjoyed this next venture and purchased her first home in Isanti. She showed tremendous potential as she had with so many previous jobs and quickly advanced her position to include accounting. She worked there approximately ten years and again was recruited by yet another business that saw JoAnns value. JoAnn joined Cambridge Metals & Plastics, where she was controller for 20 years. She had no idea this would be one of her greatest career accomplishments as well as finding her future husband, George Yacevich. She and George managed and led a very successful manufacturing company. You would think at this point she would settle with such a huge responsibility but she took on even more work including volunteer positions on multiple boards. She advised with the Private Industry Council for 7 counties, Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Urban Housing & Development Association, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and gave generously to Dollars for Scholars. She and George moved from her home in Isanti to build their home in rural Cambridge. They had a wonderful life working side by side and enjoyed their conventions and trips, even more their time at their home in the country as well as time spent in Florida. George and her together built a beautiful home in Punta Gorda. This also ended too soon, George suffered a fatal heart attack just one year prior to his plan to retire.
JoAnn helped many people, mentoring and giving of her time, she also was very dedicated to her family and ultimately her daughter Nicole. She made sure she did well in school and worked very hard so she could attend The University of St Thomas. After college Nicole met her husband David. They brought more joy to Jo and most recently blessed her with two grandchildren, Nino 4 and Giovanna 5 1/2 months.
JoAnn also spent several years with her special friend, Jim and they enjoyed many trips together.
She had drive and tenacity, a fire that never went out even when she was fighting her last battle with cancer. This too, she defeated but a fatal stroke took her life much too soon and heaven finally recruited her to be an angel and free of pain and disease. She had worked so hard and it was time for Jo to finally rest.
JoAnn will be lovingly remembered by her daughter, Nicole (David) Roberge and grandchildren Nino and Giovanna of Pittsburgh, Pa.; mother, Gertrude Erickson of Cambridge; 9 siblings, Jackie Ostrom of Cambridge, Buck (Faye) Erickson of Dalbo, Lynda Anderson of Cambridge, Steve (Lorna) Erickson of Andover, Craig Erickson of Isanti, RoxAnn Erickson (Terry Hansen) of Cambridge, Brian (Lisa) Erickson of Isanti, Doug (Debra) Erickson of Isanti, Christine (David) OLoughlin of Champlin; special friend, Jim Willhoite, and by many other loving relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Yacevich; father, John Erickson; and brothers-in-law, Paul Ostrom and Donnie Anderson.
A memorial service was held Saturday, Oct. 19 at Strike Funeral Home Cambridge Chapel with Rev. David Everett officiating.