Marjorie ‘Joan’ Undahl, agentle lady, has left us. Known as Joan to family and friends and as Marjorie to the professional world, she died on December 28, 2017, at CHI Lakewood Health Hospital in Baudette.
Joan was the 1st of five daughters born to John and Rhoda Laughy living on the family farm northwest of Baudette. She watched over her sisters, even one time herding us all onto the top of the barn when the neighbors bull got loose. She kept us there, it seemed for hours, until Dad came home. Asked why the barn, she stated “It was the safest place I could think of.”
Joan graduated from Baudette High School and continued her education at Perdue University in Chicago, living with her aunt Ann Laughy. Joan moved to Minneapolis and worked in the printing field. There she met her husband Norman Undahl, surprised to find his family lived only a mile from the Laughy’s. They were married on November 22, 1958, residing in Minneapolis until purchasing property on Oak Island from Carol and Ken Mattison. Starting with a home, then adding cabins, boats and fishing services, Norm’s Camp was born. They operated it for over 20 years. This new life brought back skills that she had learned as a child. The carrying of water, cutting of wood, and using the outdoor facilities. She took to it like a duck to water telling all that the first years, after living in the city, were hard but great.
Joan enjoyed watching nature in its glory, especially birds. She could name them by color, size and song. In letters she would write about watching the deer, bear and fox. She never tired of watching and studying all around her and enjoyed it all. Fishing was a passion she shared and enjoyed with others. She loved to take the boat out to get away from the chores and responsibilities, enjoying the quiet and her beloved birds.
Joan loved people and they were drawn to her kindness, laughter and love of fellowman. No matter who you were, she soon knew your name, your spouse and children. Sending letters and cards to remember special days of family, friends or clients, writing letters to officials due to some injustice or neglect, helping to organize gatherings and programs to bring people together to celebrate, Joan was front and center. Being one of the Oak Island winter families, she helped organize amazing activities to keep the residents from getting cabin fever. Having no children of their own, Joan included children from family, friends and the North Angle Inlet School as her own family.
Preceded in death by Father John Laughy; Husband Norman Undahl; Sisters Kathy Gruben Pranke and Garnet Smith; Aunt Marjorie Stepnes; Brother-in laws Roger Gruben, Howard Smith, Jr., Burnell Undahl and Harry Sorensen; Sister-in-law Dorothy Undahl.
Survivors include Mother Rhoda Laughy; Sisters Maureen Laughy and Carol (Ken) Mattison; Aunt Eileen Harpell; Sister-in-law Eunice Sorensen; Brother-in-law Gary Pranke; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
Kellie Knight, in her article about Joan called her ‘Joan of Oak’. Well, ‘Joan of Oak,’ gentle lady, your kindness, laughter and love echo in our hearts. We miss you!
A Service for Marjorie “Joan” Undahl will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 10:00AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baudette, MN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.