Cover photo for Joanna L. Fay's Obituary
Joanna L. Fay Profile Photo
1951 Joanna 2019

Joanna L. Fay

May 8, 1951 — September 9, 2019

Joanna Lynn Fay, age 68, of Fond du Lac, passed away at Kathy Hospice in West Bend, WI, on Monday, September 9, 2019. She was born on May 8, 1951, in DeKalb, IL., the youngest of eight children born to Wilder and Martha (Johnson) Fay. She spent her childhood years on the family farm in Waterman, IL. Joanna was a graduate of Waterman High School in Waterman, IL. in 1969. She furthered her education at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, receiving a BS in Education in 1973 and later received a master’s degree in Outdoor Education followed by numerous other advanced classes in education.

Joanna taught fifth grade in North Fond du Lac, WI, for thirty-eight years. She spent one of those years in a teacher exchange program in Australia. In addition to her year in Australia, she was able to travel overseas during her summer breaks. Joanna loved traveling and was able to visit all fifty states.

She was a member of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Fond du Lac, WI. She was also a charter member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an educator’s sorority; Fond du Lac Area Retired Teacher’s Association; Member of North Fond du Lac Education Association; founder of NFDL School Kettle Moraine Fifth Grade Camps; and a member of Wild Cucumbers of Clinton township in IL. She was a gracious donor of the NFDL Adopt-a-Family Christmas Program and member of the Fond du Lac Area Foundation. Among her other volunteer works she included EAA activities and the Treffert Center. She was one of the owners of Fay’s Pork Chop Bar-B-Que located in Waterman, IL, a family catering business that started when she was 10 years old.

She was the adored youngest sister of four sisters and three brothers. The survivors include Jackie Fay of Akron, OH, Jane (Dwayne Schmaltz) Fay, Waupun, WI, Robert (Nina) Fay of Colorado Springs, CO, Marcia (Bob) Dempsey of Waterman, IL, Linda West of Onalaska, WI, J. Thomas (Anna) Fay of Coronado, CA, James (Ginger) Fay of Waterman, IL., and her cousin Mardel (Gary) Robinson, Starkville, MS. There are sixteen nieces and nephews who dearly loved Aunt Joanna. They are Gregory (Diane) Strong, Davin Strong, Terry (Andrea) Fay, Sarah (Eric) Wardell, Krista (Craig) Mulligan, Diane (Ryan) Tinsley, Carol West, Kelly (Adam) Raddatz, John Fay, Natalie (David) Viani, Nathan (Esther) Fay, Emily (Andrew) Scafidi, Karrie Mason, Jonathan (Cristen) Fay, Anna Fay, Heather (Leo) Mporokoso and Erin (Darrin) Dodds. Also, her much loved great nieces and nephews; Deborah Ortiz, Jason Smith, Amanda Hayes, Jonathan Strong; Grace, Carley and Connor Fay, Evan, Daniel and Ellah Wardell; Kailey, Courtney and Kelsey Mulligan, Ethan, Logan and Leia Tinsley; William and Wyatt West; Hudson and Cooper Fay, Ashlyn and Juliana Viani; Timothy and Zeta Fay, Gavin, Aidan and Devan Scafidi, Adriana, Micah and Samuel Sprinkle, Cheyenne Fay, Dameon and Cameron Mporokoso; Rose and Jack Dodds and several great-great-nieces and nephews. Other survivors include the children of Dwayne Schmaltz: Jon (Mary), Gretchen (Mark), Bill (Sharon), Holly (Jerry).

In addition to her family, her legacy is her friends. She had many and they continued to support her throughout her years. She loved books and school supplies. She was a great storyteller and enjoyed laughter with her friends, family and students. She was a creative crafter. She was a lifelong Cub fan, an ardent Packer-backer having attended the Super Bowl and the Hall of Fame Induction for Brett Favre, and was a loyal Badger fan.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM at Grace Evangelical Free Church, 163 E. 18th Street, Fond du Lac, WI 54935. A funeral service will follow the visitation on Saturday at the church at 2:00 PM. A luncheon will follow the service at the church.

Visitation will also take place on Sunday, September 15, 2019, from 1-2 PM at Nash-Nelson Memorial Chapel, 1001 E. Garfield St, Waterman, IL, 60556. A funeral service will follow the visitation at 2:00 PM with a luncheon to follow. Private family burial will take place at North Clinton Cemetery in Waterman, IL.

Additional information and guestbook can be found by visiting

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, September 15, 2019

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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