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June 7, 1949 – Monday, February 17, 2014

Service Information
See Obituary for Location & Address
Saturday, February 22, 2014
1:00 PM

Visitation Information
See Obituary for Location & Address
Saturday, February 22, 2014
1-6 PM

Joan Smith-Olsen, 64, June 7, 1949 – February 17, 2014, “First Lady of Sun Country” passed away peacefully early Monday morning surrounded by her family & friends after a 7 year fight with cancer.

Memorial service at 1 PM on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at Joan & Jim’s residence near Buffalo, MN, 4251 20th St. SW, Waverly, MN 55390. Friends are welcome from 1 – 6 PM at the home near Buffalo.

Joan made a career in aviation, first in 1968 as a stewardess for Braniff Airways. And later as one of the co-founders of Sun Country Airlines, where she served in many capacities including director of inflight until 2007, when she returned to flying in line as a flight attendant. Joan made a lasting impression on everyone she met & was loved & respected by her many friends, co-workers & passengers at Sun Country. She was also well known for the holiday decorations that she loved to display including her many Christmas trees & the yearly Halloween display in her front yard in Eagan.

Joan is survived by her husband, James Olsen; mother, Artie Stegora; son, Casey (Amy) Smith; daughter, Kelly (Bryan) Janowiec; step-children, Mark (Kris) Olsen, Lori (Mike) Finney, Michelle (Clark) Camilli & Nicole (Rob) Sampson; 18 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Sue (Jeff) Floding, Carol (Vernon) Scott & Mary (Doug) Olson; three brothers, Duane (Kathy) Stegora, Allen Stegora & Tom Stegora.
Joan will be truly missed by all of her friends & relatives but especially by her grandkids & her Bull Dog “Bear”.

The Peterson Chapel,Buffalo, MN assisted the family with arrangements.

11 Guestbook Entries

  1. Jim Fitts

    Joan was a great flight attendant to work with. I enjoyed many flights with her during the Braniff days. My sympathy to her relatives. Jim Fitts

  2. Pat Dixon

    Jim, so sorry to hear about Joan. Mary had told me she was ill, but had not heard any recent news about her. I’ll keep you and all your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    Pat Dixon, Braniff Airlines

  3. Ennis Sullivan

    To the best, God be with you.

  4. Gene Peterson

    So long Joan. God speed. We will all join you on a later flight.

    Jim all my best. Stay well.

    Gene Peterson

  5. Captain James Keitges

    Rest in Peace Joan.

  6. Rich Hickman

    Dear Jim and Family,
    What a peach she was!!
    May your many wonderful memories be a comfort to each of you.
    In sympathy, Rich Hickman, former MSP BI

  7. Al and Jean Hendrickson

    When Al and I were returning from a trip to Cancun in 2010 Joan recognized Al and gave him a big hug. It was a perfect ending to our vacation and a lasting memory. Joan touched many lives with her bright and energetic personality! God bless your family.

  8. John Frasca

    I have known Joan since I first started flying for Braniff in 1974. Her wonderful laugh and her ability to reach out and adopt us, the first “guys” to fly for Braniff did not go unnoticed nor unappreciated. Enjoy that last flight home, old friend, and I look forward to our next “debriefing” together.

  9. Q. Shackelford

    May you find comfort in God’s Word at 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 “Blessed be the God and Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation…”

  10. Walter

    Jim, Joan was such a fireball. She always made me laugh. She was an asset to be treasured. You have my deepest sympathy. Dub

  11. Lowell & Phyllis Schaper

    Joan was a wonderful lady. Always with a kind word, a smile and a twinkle in her eye. We will all miss her.


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