Photography

Ioliene B Grant

April 16, 1923 ~ September 19, 2020 (age 97)

Obituary

Ioliene B. Grant, age 97, of Spring Valley, died Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Valley Villas Assisted Living in Spring Valley.

A walk-by visitation for nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will be from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Spring Valley.  Visitation for the immediate family (children and grandchildren) will be from 10:30 until 11:30 at church followed by a private family Mass of Christian Burial for her children and grandchildren.

Please be patient as we must limit the number of how many people may enter the church at one time.  Masks and social distancing are encouraged.

Ioliene Bernice (Bjornstad) Grant, 97 years, 5 mo., 3 days passed away on September 19, 2020 at Valley Villas in Spring Valley. Ioliene was the eldest of 5 children, born to Oscar and Emma (Julson) Bjornstad on April 16, 1923. She was baptized and confirmed at Gilman Lutheran Church. Ioliene was raised on her parents’ farm in Gilman Township where she milked cows by hand, learned to cook on a wood burning stove, helped plant and harvest fruits and vegetables and preserve those through canning.

She attended the one-room Gilman Center Grade School. During Ioliene’s High School years there were times when she could only attend school every other day, since she was caring for her Mother on the alternate days. Still, she completed her studies and even excelled, graduating in 1941. Following graduation, Ioliene worked at the Red and White store in Spring Valley. Hours were long as she filled orders and boxed up groceries, having them ready for pickup after customers returned from the movie theater. 

Ioliene was proud of her Norwegian heritage and had opportunities to visit first cousins in both Norway and Canada. She continued to stay in touch with her cousins, communicating in Norwegian, as that was her first language.

Ioliene married Bernard Grant, on August 28, 1942 at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in El Paso, WI.  They shared 71 ½ wonderful years. Together they had 7 children, 4 born at home. Ioliene and Bernard had planned an October wedding, but because gas rationing took effect September 1st of that year, they moved the date up to August.

Ioliene is credited with having the first school “hot lunch” program in Pierce County, since she prepared hot meals for the grade school children being taught by her husband Bernard. Ioliene and Bernard ran the Bjornstad farm in Gilman, affectionately called the “home place”, when her parents moved to town. At that time Ioliene’s three younger siblings stayed on the farm with them, continuing their schooling and helping with chores.  When her parents returned to the farm in 1952, Ioliene and Bernard moved to a farm on County Road CC, where they lived for 7 years.  During that time Bernard returned to teaching and they continued farming and raising their family.  In 1959 they purchased the “home place” where they lived until they retired and moved off in 1994.  Those were busy years – cows to be milked, school papers to be graded, crops to be harvested, and a family to raise. Together Ioliene and Bernard found joy in these work efforts. Yet through the years, they found time for enjoyment, including dancing (even winning waltz contests) and lots of card playing. 

Ioliene was a very active member of the Altar and Rosary Society at Sacred Heart Parish.  She was a member of the Olivet Homemakers.  She and Bernard delivered Meals on Wheels, they were officers for the local Senior Center, and they contributed time and effort to the Historical Society of Pierce County.  They helped at the New and Used Store in Ellsworth, and at Special Olympics events.  They volunteered to help with activities at the Spring Valley Nursing Home and they distributed communion to the home bound.  All these activities put them in close touch with their community which was a source of true happiness for them.

In 2003, Ioliene and Bernard were honored to serve as Grand Marshals for SV Dam Days.  They were also each named Pierce County Outstanding Resident.  It was an honor for them to serve the Spring Valley Community in any way they could. 

A special Thank You from the family, to the wonderful care givers at Valley Villa’s, Adoray Home Health, Father Amir Stanislaus, and Brother Michael Mandernach.

 

Ioliene is preceded in death by her husband, Bernard; son, Mark; parents Oscar and Emma Bjornstad; siblings & spouses Carol (Clarence) Ingli, Jeanette (Malcolm) Anderson, Orin Bjornstad, Donald (Beverly) Bjornstad; in-laws Sherman and Agnes Grant, Mary (Vilas)Raeder, Edward Grant, Dorothy (Earl) Hartung, Robert (Marie) Grant, Ruth Grant and Brother Simon Grant; son-in-law David Bibeau, and great grandson Daren Bibeau.

She is survived by her children, Beverly Bibeau, Judith Grant-Wilson, Mary (Charles) Woiwode, Benedict (Barbara) Grant, James Grant, Barry (Pamela) Grant; 17 grandchildren; 34 great grandchildren; 1 great, great grandchild; sisters-in-law Deanna Bjornstad and Shirley Grant; cousins, and many nieces and nephews.

A walk-by visitation for nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will be from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Spring Valley.  Visitation for the immediate family (children and grandchildren) will be from 10:30 until 11:30 at church followed by a private family Mass of Christian Burial for her children and grandchildren.

Please be patient as we must limit the number of how many people may enter the church at one time.  Masks and social distancing are encouraged.

 Memorials preferred to Valley Villa’s, Adoray Home Health and the Spring Valley Education Foundation.

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