Joan Marie Emlong November 15th, 2022

Joan Marie Theisen Emlong, age 82 of Saint Louis Park, MN, formally of Saint Joseph, MI, passed away with family by her side on November 15, 2022.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Joan on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at 11:00 A.M., at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5900 West Lake Street, Saint Louis Park, MN 55416. Luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Holy Family Catholic Church. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at and

Interment will be at City Cemetery in Saint Joseph, MI in June, 2023. Details to follow at Starks Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services:

Joan was a devoted mother, grandmother, and friend. Over her life she cared for and accomplished many things; she was a beloved teacher, a successful financial consultant, an intuitive gardener, a generous and caring friend, a very quick wit, a lifelong supporter of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and a dedicated disciple of the Catholic Church, whose love of our Blessed Lady guided her entire life.

Joan graduated from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN with a B.A. in Elementary Education in 1962. She received Montessori Primary Level Certification in 1974 and Elementary Level Certification in 1989. In 1974, Joan founded the Montessori House of Children in Benton Harbor, MI. For 15 years, she was the school’s Executive Director and a teacher. She grew the school from one classroom to its current location which serves children age 2 1/2 years through 8th grade.

In 1990, Joan joined Hilliard Lyons as a financial consultant. She developed and managed a large clientele, created an investment curriculum taught at the local community college, and delivered the weekly stock market report on the radio.

In more recent years, Joan left her beloved Saint Joseph, MI and moved to Saint Louis Park, MN, where she could be closer to more family. Despite her ever longing to return to Saint Joseph, Joan enjoyed life in MN with family and new friends. She joined Holy Family Catholic Church in St. Louis Park, where she was a devoted disciple. She also worked at Holy Family Academy where she helped to begin the school’s first Montessori classroom.

Joan served on the boards of many organizations; including Habitat for Humanity, the Literacy Council, Indian Hills Garden Club, American Red Cross, Rotary Club, and Lake Michigan College. She was also an avid disciple for St. Joseph Catholic Church where she served as a church sacristan, adoration chapel coordinator and gardener for church grounds. Whatever and wherever her calling, Joan joyfully shared her many gifts.

Joan is deeply missed by all who knew her. She had an infectious smile, and sense of optimism and humor that lifted up all those around her. She is survived by her children, Ralph (Lori Anne) Emlong of Mooresville, North Carolina; Elizabeth (Chad) Lindholm of Eden Prairie, MN; Mike Emlong of St. Joseph, MI; grandchildren, Drake (Megan) Emlong, Lily Emlong, Ethan Lindholm, Regan Lindholm, and John Lindholm; sisters Ann (Tony) Eisel and Mary (Hans) Frank; and many loving friends in Michigan and in Minnesota.