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Joan C. Gutzman

August 15, 1936 ~ February 12, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Joan Gutzman Obituary

Joan Carol Gutzman, 87, of Baxter, Minnesota passed away peacefully on Monday, February 12. Joan was a devoted wife and talented painter whose brush strokes brought beauty and depth to the canvas of life. She was born at Miner’s Hospital in Crosby, Minnesota on August 15, 1936 and attended Crosby-Ironton High School. Following graduation in 1954, she attended the St. Cloud Teachers College and then ventured west to work at the Huntington Park First Savings and Loan Association in Huntington Park, California.

In 1956 Joan returned to Crosby to marry her high school beau Wayne Gutzman embarking on a remarkable journey of 67 years traversing continents and cultures as they followed Wayne’s business pursuits and called home in Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Brussels, Belgium and Geneva, Switzerland. Despite the challenges of frequent relocation, Joan approached each new chapter of their lives with resilience and an open heart.

Joan’s artistic journey began at an early age, where her innate talent and boundless imagination blossomed into a lifelong passion for painting. With each stroke of her brush, Joan captured the essence of the world around her with grace and enthusiasm, immersing herself in the local culture and forging connections around her, infusing her canvases with vibrant colors and profound emotion. Her art was more than just paint on canvas; it was a reflection of her soul, a testament to her unique perspective and artistic vision. Her hand painted Christmas cards were treasured offerings bringing much joy and anticipation to so many during the holiday season.

In 1969 Joan and her family ventured to Europe, where she embraced the rich artistic traditions and natural beauty of their new homes in Belgium and Switzerland. In Belgium she was captivated by the charming cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and vibrant art scene of cities like Brussels and Bruges earning her the endearment “Joan of Art” from her Belgian friends. It was also in Brussels where she learned furniture design, french cooking, and how to argue with a postman in french who had mistreated her German Shepherd.

Her time in Switzerland was equally transformative, as she found inspiration in the majestic Alps, serene lakes, and picturesque villages that dotted the landscape. Surrounded by such breathtaking scenery, Joan honed her craft and developed a unique artistic style that reflected the beauty and tranquility of her surroundings.

In the comfort of the small town where she grew up, Joan also found inspiration for her art, drawing from the simple moments and cherished memories made in the company of those she held dear. Whether capturing the golden hues of a sunrise over Serpent Lake or the laughter of friends gathered around her kitchen table, her paintings reflected the beauty and warmth of her community.

Along with all of her exciting adventures Joan dedicated herself to the role she valued most: being a mother. She found profound joy and fulfillment in nurturing her children and creating a loving and welcoming home. It defined her sense of purpose. And in her home it was the kitchen table where she was happiest - the place where laughter echoed, stories unfolded, and bonds deepened over countless cups of coffee and always something fresh coming out of the oven. Her hospitality knew no bounds, and she welcomed all who crossed her threshold with open arms and a warm smile. A glass of wine was usually in order at the end of the day.

Joan leaves behind a legacy of cultural appreciation, artistic excellence, and a generosity of kindness that will forever be remembered by all who knew her. She was preceded in death by her parents William and Johanna Bedard, siblings Fred (Josephine), Blanche (LaValle) Lund, Earl (Evelyn), and Jean (Robert) Melenich, and is survived by husband Wayne and sons Steven (Deanna), David (Michelle) and granddaughter Tatianna (Alain) ForgeĢt.

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