Joann Mae (Rikhus) Brown, 88, service May 23 in Ely

Joann Mae (Rikhus) Brown, 88, passed away peacefully on December 21, 2014 in Billings, MT with her children close. She was the third of four children, born on May 1, 1926 to John and Laufey Rikhus in Ely. She attended local schools and graduated with honors from Ely Memorial High School in 1944. She was also a member of the National Thespian Dramatic Honor Society. Joann continued her education in business at Ely Vermilion Community College while working for her father in the family business. She then completed her studies at the Mpls. School of Business.
She met the love of her life, John (Skitch) Brown in high school and they married in 1947 in Ely. The Navy took them to California where they raised a family of five children. Joann loved going to their cabin in the mountains and taking the family to the beach! They stayed until 1969 when work brought them back to Minneapolis and closer to home. Upon retirement, they were finally able to return to Ely and their dream home on Burntside Lake. Mom loved the outdoors and she had many, many happy memories with friends and family at the lake.
Mom was a very creative person and always had a project she was working on! She loved to sew, do needlepoint and cross stitch. She made artwork from shells and sand she brought home from the beaches and she ALWAYS made our Halloween costumes and elaborate cakes for our birthdays. We are all proud to say that she passed that creativity on to her children. Mom had a spoon collection from her travels all over the world, loved playing Uno with her brother Bill, and her granddaughter Jill. In later years, she enjoyed her jigsaw puzzles, solitaire every evening, reading and family.
Mom was a strong woman with a sweet and positive attitude in life. She will always be remembered for her un-ending kindness towards everyone and her devotion to her husband and her family.
She was preceded in death, and will be joining, her parents, John and Laufey; her husband, Skitch; her son, Brian; and her siblings: William, Marge and Sarah Lu. Joann is survived and will be sadly missed by her son, Scott (Sandra) Brown of Davis, CA; daughter, Laufey Owen of Clayton, CA; daughter, Shelley Workman of New Harbor, ME; DeeDee (Jim) Jussila of Billings, MT; grandchildren: Richard Brown, Michael (Sarah) Brown, Jesse Workman, Gary Workman, Zachary Brown and Jill Jussila; great-grandchildren: Hannah Workman, Cole Workman and Riki Brown.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, May 23 at 2:00, at Kerntz Funeral Home in Ely, with a private interment to follow. Family and friends are invited to toast Joann’s life at Zaverl’s Bar that evening. We ask that memorials be sent, in her honor, to the American Lung Association or to a Disabled Veteran’s charity of your choice.
Family arrangements are entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home. Please share a memory or message of condolence at