Joan Nydahl Nayes

Joan Nydahl Nayes of Dousman, formerly of Jamestown, N.D., passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, surrounded by her family at Angels Grace Hospice at the age of 84. She was born in Fargo, N.D., the daughter of Olai and Julia (nee Nelson) Nydahl. On August 27, 1950, she married James “Jim” Nayes. Joan was a 1951 graduate of North Dakota State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in home economics. While in school, she was president of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and representative senior of NDSU. Joan taught home economics at Casselton High School, Fingal High School, Jamestown High School and North Dakota State University before finishing her career as Stutsman County superintendent of schools. She served as president of the North Dakota Home Economics Association.

Joan was the originator of the high school Family Living Egg Project, where students were assigned raw eggs to care for as if they were their own children. For a week, the students cared for their child (egg) took it with them wherever they went and protected it as if they were their own child (egg). At weeks’ end the students were to return their child (egg) safely to the Family Living class. This project concept received national attention due to its immediacy and creative learning aspects for youth.

Joan grew up in Fargo and lived in Casselton, Fingal, Wishek and Kindred before moving to Jamestown, N.D., where she spent most of her life until moving to Three Pillars in Dousman in 2010. Joan and Jim are members of Jamestown Trinity Lutheran Church in Jamestown. At Trinity, she was a member of the Church Council, Bell Choir and a leader of the Alter Guild. She and Jim together were Junior and Senior Luther League advisers. Joan enjoyed collecting recipes, serious experimental and everyday cooking for her family, sewing, camping and traveling with her family. The most important thing in Joan’s life was her family and grandchildren. She will always be remembered as a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother.

She will be deeply missed by her husband of 63 years, Jim, of Dousman; her son, Jim (Jeannine) Nayes of Sunfish Lake, Minn.; her daughter, Julie (Joe) Schmidt of Dousman; and foster son, Darrell (Diane) Knutson, Tuscumbia, Mo. She was the proud grandmother of Jessica Nayes of Stockholm, Sweden, Joshua Nayes of Madison, Jameson Nayes of Sunfish Lake, Nicolas Schmidt and Angela Schmidt of Dousman. She is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law Lillian and LeRoy Nayes and her parents.

Visitation will be held on Monday, April 21, from 9:00AM until the time of the 11:00AM funeral service at the Three Pillars Ewald Chapel, 375 Highway 67, Dousman, WI 53118. The Rev. Terese Leonhard will preside. Graveside services will immediately follow at St. Theresa Cemetery in Eagle.

Memorials in Joan’s name are appreciated to AngelsGrace Hospice, N74W35908 Servants Way, Oconomowoc, WI 53066.

Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, Crematory and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 547-4035 or visit our website at for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.