JoAnn Bengtson, 69, of Geneseo died Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at Hammond-Henry Long Term Care Unit, Geneseo after a courageous battle with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Funeral services celebrating her life will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at First Lutheran Church, Geneseo. The Rev. Dr. Arthur Bergren will officiate. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo. A visitation was held Thursday, Jan. 3 at First Lutheran Church, Geneseo. Memorials may be left to the JoAnn Bengtson Memorial Fund to be distributed amongst several local charities. Geneseo Chapel of Vandemore Funeral Homes is assisting the family with arrangements.
She was born on Feb. 28, 1943, in Geneseo, the daughter of Albert and Anita (Cady) O'Bryan. She was a 1961 graduate of Geneseo High School. She married Roger Bengtson on Dec. 21, 1962. She worked at the Geneseo Republic and then became a full-time mother in 1964 with the birth of her and Roger's first daughter. In subsequent years, three more daughters were born along with four sons joining the family through marriage.
She loved living and raising a family on the farm. She grew beautiful flowers and enjoyed the busyness of farm life, including watching birds and livestock in the pasture. One of the joys of her life was the love and companionship of her yellow lab, Abby. She followed the activities of her children and grandchildren faithfully and attended as many as possible. In her younger years, she taught swimming lessons at the Geneseo pool. She was involved in her daughters' school as a motor mom and active in the PTA. She also participated in the Hospital Auxiliary. She spent several summers at the fairs with her daughters showing cattle and sheep. She has been a faithful member of First Lutheran Church for many years.
In July 2012, the entire family traveled to Estes Park, Colo. at commemorate JoAnn and Roger's 50th anniversary. It was a memorable trip that no one will forget.
Survivors include her husband, Roger; four daughters and spouses, Jill and Greg Laingen of Geneseo, Jody and Doug Himmelman of Bettendorf, Iowa, Beth and Rodger Ott of Highlands Ranch, Colo. and Sarah and Joel Schiltz of Carpentersville; nine grandchildren, Erika (Christian) Rowlands, Christian and Nelson Laingen, Jonathan and Carter Himmelman, Megan Ott, and Parker, Anna and Grant Schiltz; one brother, Kevin O'Bryan of Geneseo and two nephews, Travis O'Bryan of Las Vegas, Nev. and Tyler O'Bryan of Geneseo. She was preceded in death by her grandparents and parents.