The Free Press, Mankato, MN

June 15, 2013

Joan Catherine Breiter


— Joan Catherine Breiter



     Joan C. Breiter, age 79, of Brooklyn Park, MN, formerly of Lake Crystal, MN and Ames, IA, died May 18, 2013, at St. Therese/Oxbow Lake Care Center from Alzheimer's disease.  

    Joan was the firstborn to Al and Cora Breiter on May 23, 1933, in Elysian, MN, in the home of the local doctor.  She lived her childhood years in Lake Crystal, MN and graduated a valedictorian of the class of 1951.  She completed teacher training in Mankato, receiving her diploma in elementary education with Special Honor and began her career teaching 6th grade in Winnebago, MN.  She later taught in Owatonna for a time and then North Mankato.  While teaching, she continued her education, obtaining her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Mankato State College.  She then started spending summer breaks in Greeley, CO working on her doctorate degree, which she received from Colorado State College in 1968.  Her first college job was as an associate professor at St. Cloud State, but most of her years were at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames as a professor in the Education Department.  Her specialty area was the education of gifted children. She published numerous papers and gave presentations at local, national and international education conferences.  

   Joan met and married the love-of-her-life, John Wesley (Wes) Sticken, on Nov. 19, 1978; they lived their entire 24 years of married life in Ames.  Joan retired after 23 years at ISU in 1992, having been in the education field a total of 39 years.  Joan and Wes traveled the world until Wes' death in 2002. Joan moved to St. Therese at Oxbow Lake in 2011 when she needed more extensive care for her memory loss than she was able to obtain in her home.  Joan was an avid reader, craftsperson- especially needlework, world traveler, golfer, collector of seashells, nature lover and lover of children.  She immersed herself in and fully mastered everything she attempted.

    Joan was preceded in death by husband, J. Wesley Sticken, parents, Al and Cora, and brother, John.  She is survived by siblings, Tom (Mary-Alice) Breiter of Lacrosse, WI, Mary (Larry) Nolan of Monticello, MN, Marti (Patrick) Breiter Lilja of Minneapolis, MN; sister-in-law Lorna Breiter of Mahtomedi, MN; stepsons, Kirk (Sandy) and Craig Sticken; eight nieces and nephews and their families, and numerous other family and friends.  

   Memorial Mass on Saturday, June 22, 11 AM at Washburn-McReavy Edina Funeral Chapel, 5000 W 50th & Hwy 100.  Visitation one hour prior to service.   Visitation and interment in Ames, IA on June 29, 2013.  Memorials preferred to St. Therese at Oxbow Lake, North Hospice (North Memorial Medical Center) or Minnesota State University at Mankato .