JoAnn Hebenstreit, 67, died at the Loch Raven VA Community Living & Rehabilitation Center in Baltimore, Md. on July 15, 2018 after a long illness.
Mass of the Resurrection was held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 21 at St. Brigid Catholic Church in Grand Junction, Iowa. Mass was celebrated by Fr. John Gerald of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Jefferson. Honorary bearers were Rhea Hoskins, Rhonda Oathout and Roxanne Gorsuch. Casket bearers were Bruce Wessling, Roger Wessling, Sheila Dotts Hebenstreit and Jeff Gilley. Amy Roberts was the soloist, accompanied by Lois Last. Interment was at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Grand Junction with military rites by the United States Army Honor Guard.
JoAnn was born January 5, 1951 to her parents, Emmett and Elva Shriver Hebenstreit. As a child she attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and East Greene Community School in Grand Junction, graduating from high school in 1969. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1973 and a Master of Arts in music from the University of Iowa in 1981. During her music education, she performed in several musical theater and opera performances. She had the opportunity to play Larina in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, the Third Lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Mamma Lucia in Cavelleria Rusticana and the Nursemaid Ruth in Pirates of Penzance. As a college freshman, JoAnn was among 35 selected from 600 people who auditioned with the St. Louis Municipal Opera for their 1970 summer theatre productions. She also spent summers performing with the Des Moines Metro Opera Company, the Mulebarn Theatre in Tarkio, Miss. and the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Mass.
From 1974 to 1976, JoAnn taught 1-12 grade vocal music in the Danville (Iowa) Community School district before pursuing graduate study. In 1984 she auditioned and was accepted into the United States Army Soldiers Chorus, the vocal complement of the United States Army Field Band of Washington, DC, the Musical Ambassadors of the Army. As a member of the Soldier’s Chorus, JoAnn traveled throughout the United States and abroad helping to foster the support of the American people for members of the armed forces and supporting diplomatic efforts around the world. During her enlistment, she was promoted from Staff Sergeant to Sergeant First Class and received a medical discharge in 1999.
Her family misses her beautiful mezzo soprano voice. She loved her nieces and nephews, her cats, Grace and Chloe I and II, daily coffee, Dunkin Donuts, ice cream and visits with Aunt Edith and their casino adventures.
JoAnn is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Julia Hebenstreit and Joseph Hall of Madison Lake, Minn.; a nephew and his wife, Scott and Sheila Hebenstreitof Jefferson; nieces: Stephanie Hall of Eagan, Minn., Dr. Megan Hall of Madison, Wis. and Caitlin (Anthony) Sicora of Plymouth, Minn.; maternal aunt, Mary Jean Tjogas of Houston, Texas and several cousins. She is preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Jerry Hebenstreit and nephew, Mark Hebenstreit.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America in JoAnn’s memory.
Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Jefferson.