Joanne W. Keene, 73, of Tomah died Monday, May 18, 2020, at the Touch of Home in Tomah. She was born Sept. 25, 1946, to Maynard and Florence (Rodefer) Forrest Sr., in Sparta. She grew up and lived in and around the Tomah area her whole life.
She graduated from the Tomah Senior High School. Before she graduated, she worked at the Band Box Cleaners, where she met the love of her life, Robert Keene. They were united in marriage Oct. 25, 1964, at the Tomah Methodist Church. They had two daughters, Kirstie Amanda and Terri Jo. While raising her family she also worked. She was a bookkeeper at Christensen, Sund and Lund Accounting firm, a cashier for Ray Cram at Cram’s Supermarket, and a cook at the Interstate Restaurant of Hwy. 21, in North Tomah, for Buzz Osmond. She eventually went back to Band Box Cleaners and Laundry, where she managed the six Laundromats in Tomah, Sparta, Black River Falls and Mauston, Wis., until her retirement. Joanne was active in the community as past president of the Tomah Jaycees and a member of Laureate Phi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, for many years. She served as Sorority president and always was the best hostess. She was also active with the Mecca Shrine Club, accompanying Robert on many trips and excursions and a member of the First United Methodist Church. She was also a caregiver for her mother-in-law, Gilma Keene, her sister-in-law, Margaret “Mac” Keene, and her mother, Florence Forrest. In between volunteering, working and care giving, she loved to travel with Robert and her girls. She traveled all over the world making many wonderful memories for her family to cherish.
Joanne is survived by her husband of 55 years, Robert of Tomah; two daughters, Terri Keene (fiancé, Tony Keichinger, of Camp Douglas) and Kirstie (Al) Urbanek of Bangor, their children, Ashley (fiancé, Brandon Leiterman) Urbanek, Wendy (special friend, Jacob) Urbanek, and Abbie Urbanek; a sister, Janet (Tim) Frank; a brother, Jeff Forest; two sisters-in-law, Leola Keene and Mary Forrest; many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Maynard Sr. and Florence Forrest; a brother, Maynard Forrest Jr.; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Richard and Gilma Keene; brothers and sister-in-law, Jerry and Margaret “Mac” Keene and Tom Keene; aunts and uncles, Laverne and Lloyd Cramer and Lyle and Joyce Rodefer.
Private family funeral services will be held. The public is invited for graveside services at 1:45 p.m. Friday, May 22, at the Oak Grove Memorial Garden. The public is encouraged to use CDC recommended guidelines for social distance and safety measures. Pastor Krista Deedee will officiate.
The Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.sonnenburgfamilyfh.com.
Memorials may be given to The Tomah Hospice Touch, c/o Tomah Memorial Hospital, 321 Butts Ave., Tomah, WI 54660, and the Chasing Daylights Animal Shelter.
The family would also like to give their deep appreciation and thanks to the nursing staff at Tomah Health, Dr. Erickson and Dr. Saunders, Tomah Hospice, and the staff at Touch of Home.
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