Joann Dorene Muhm



Joann Dorene Muhm

Joann Dorene Muhm, 86, of West Des Moines, passed from this life on August 16, 2017, after waiting patiently to join her husband Don who passed away at their cabin on September 25, 2007. Patience and grace were her strong attributes. She waited patiently for a child to finish what they were saying even if it took longer than it needed to. She gracefully showed her family what it really means to be a family.
Joann was born July 9, 1931 to James Alfred Larson and Laurena Marie Jensen in rural Hancock county near Britt, Iowa. The youngest of nine children, she grew up surrounded by seven brothers: Willis Martin, James August, Merle Eugene, Glen Herbert, Cecil LeRoy, Robert Lee and Gerald Dean; and an older sister, Dorothy Marie, who raised the family when mother Larson passed away at the age of 50 from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Joann graduated from Britt High School in 1949 and was a beauty queen.
On March 24, 1951, she married the love of her life and high school sweetheart, Donald Charles Muhm of Kanawha. Although her brothers did all they could to dissuade this partnership, love found a way, “as it always does”. To this union, three boys were born. As Joann used to say, ‘the best family is made of three boys”: Maury James (Donna), Robert Bruce (Barbara), and Scott William (Regina), who all spent most of their lives in their West Des Moines home until adulthood called them away.
Don and Jo traveled from Iowa State University, where Don earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Agricultural Journalism, to South Carolina when Don was in the Army, to Marshalltown, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska for Don’s early journalism positions and, finally, to West Des Moines when Don became Farm Editor of the Des Moines Register.
Jo was an avid sports fan, especially Iowa State; and ISU basketball was her favorite. Go State! She stayed up until the wee hours of the morning watching her Cubbies win the series! Go Cubs!
Don and Joann had a beautifully idyllic life of travel, socializing, and family. Family first. They welcomed grandchildren, Melissa Anne Muhm (Tyrone) Belle, Casey (Laura) Muhm, Kelly Joann Muhm (Matt) Thelen, Corey Charles Muhm, Daniel Scott (Alicia) Muhm, Leah Joy Muhm (Elizabeth Smith), and Maxwell Charles Muhm; as well as eight great- grandchildren: Ian Thomas, Julian James, Teigan Andrew, Lily Ann, Rinoa Rose, Nolan Martin, Declan Corey and Bridget Inella. Jo and Don also had step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren that they loved as their own. Many breathtaking sunsets were shared and magical moments were spent with family members through the years at the family cabin in Spirit Lake.
Those left to cherish her memory include several nieces, nephews, great friends, neighbors, and a multitude of people who were touched by her gentleness, her humor, and her loving kindness. She was preceded in death by her parents, all of her brothers and sisters, grandson, Corey, and daughter-in-law, Barb.
The Cremation Society of Iowa assisted with a simple cremation. There will be a private family service held at their cabin in the future.

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