Gardening 06

JoAnn R. James

January 16, 1967 ~ April 3, 2022 (age 55) 55 Years Old


JoAnn R. James, age 55 of Oakdale, MN, formerly of Downing, WI, passed away on April 3, 2022 at Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN after an, 18-year battle with multiple myeloma. 


JoAnn Renee James was born on January 16, 1967, in Madison, WI , the daughter of Donald & Juanita (Alleman) James.  She grew up in Downing, WI, was baptized and confirmed at the United Methodist Church.  She attended Glenwood City High School, was in flag squad with the high school band and continued to work with the flags and color guard many years after graduation.  She was a gifted swimmer and taught swimming lessons and lifeguarded for years at the Glenwood City “mud hole”.  She graduated high school in 1985.


After graduation, JoAnn attended UW River Falls and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  She began working at Linder’s Greenhouses in Lake Elmo, MN, becoming the growing manager.  She was there for 23 years, until they closed their doors in 2013. 


JoAnn gave birth to her son, Donny, in 1995, and spent her best years working hard at Linder’s and raising her son.  After Linder’s closed, JoAnn worked at Home Depot, setting up displays at various stores around the Twin Cities. 


When not working, she enjoyed gardening, and later found interest in beading and making jewelry and other arts and craft projects.  JoAnn loved to travel and took many trips with her son and their good friends.  JoAnn and her dear friend Pat had a tradition of spending several days after Thanksgiving with their kids, baking hundreds of Christmas cookies and over the following weeks generously delivering trays of cookies to churches, banks, doctors and anyone that had provided a service to her and her family.  Her kind-hearted and generous spirit will be greatly missed by many.  


JoAnn is preceded in death by her father, Donald James.


Survived by:



Donny Ruehmann  -  Oakdale, MN



Juanita James  -  Downing, WI


Brothers & Sister

Richard (Jean) James  -  New Prague, MN

Cindy (Chuckie) DeSmith  -  Downing, WI

Kevin (Kelly) James  -  Rogers, AR


Nieces, Nephews, Family & Friends



Visitation will be from 5-7 pm, followed by a Memorial Service at 7 p.m., on Thursday, April 7, 2022 at the United Methodist Church in Downing, WI 





To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of JoAnn R. James, please visit our floral store.


April 7, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Downing United Methodist Church
208 Tainter Street
Downing, WI 54734

Memorial Service
April 7, 2022

7:00 PM
Downing United Methodist Church
208 Tainter Street
Downing, WI 54734


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