Joan May (Oberton) McGuire

December 19, 1933 ~ March 29, 2018 (age 84)

Joan May McGuire, 84, of Bemidji, MN died Thursday, March 29, 2018 at her home.

Funeral Services will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 6, 2018 at the Evangelical Covenant Church, Bemidji with Pastor Dave Benedict officiating. Visitation will be 5-6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, with a period of open sharing from 6:30 to 7:00 pm for friends and family, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in the spring in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji.

Joan May Oberton was born December 19, 1933 in Morrison County, Minnesota to Rodney and Lillian (Bragg) Oberton.  She grew up in Parker Township, outside of Randall, MN.  She attended a one room school in Parker Township and High School in Little Falls, graduating in 1951.  This is where she met her husband, Jerry McGuire, who was the bus driver on her rural school bus.  They were married November 22, 1951 at Randall.  Jerry was in the Army National Guard until 1952, so they had their honeymoon in Florida while he was stationed in Ft. Rucker, Alabama.  Joan attended St. Cloud State Teacher’s College for two years, graduating with a two-year Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education.  She taught for two years at Lincoln, MN school in central MN, near Randall.  She stopped teaching while having six children in eight years, from 1953 to 1960.  The family lived in Sauk Centre, MN from 1957-1965.  Joan resumed teaching at a small Melrose, MN one-room country school from 1963 until 1965, when the family moved to Bemidji, MN.  She resumed teaching at Nary School south of Bemidji in 1966, where she taught primary grades, 1-3.  When Nary was consolidated with Bemidji’s District 31, Joan and fellow educator, Max Boyer, were transferred to Horace May Elementary School, closer to Bemidji.  She taught 2nd and 3rd grades there until she retired in 1989.  Jerry and Joan traveled widely, living for periods of time in Bullhead City and Apache Junction, AZ; Russellville, AK and Punta Gorda, FL.  They were always giving of themselves as volunteers with Hospice Care, Classic Car Clubs, and always very active in their churches.  Jerry passed away in 2004 while they were living in Russellville.  Joan returned to Bemidji that same year, purchasing one of the first townhomes in Vista North, and lived there until her death.  She was heavily involved in the Evangelical Covenant Church, Women’s Aglow Fellowship, being its first President in the Bemidji chapter, Beltrami County Jail Women’s Ministry, and numerous Bible studies over the years.  She was particularly dedicated to caring and advocating for her handicapped son, Ron.

She is survived by 2 sons, Dr. Randy (Betty) McGuire of Bemidji and Ronald McGuire of Bemidji; 3 daughters Penny (John) Peronnet of Russellville, AR, Pamela (Mike) Sanders of Andersonville, TN and Peggy (Gale) Odegard of Saxapahaw, NC; 13 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren and sister, Jewel Maloney of Crystal Lake, IL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Rodney and Lillian Oberton; husband, Jerry McGuire; son, Ricky McGuire; brothers, Walter, Roger and Ronald Oberton and sisters, Adeline and Evangeline.

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