Christian 10

Joan Ruth (Austad) Harding

April 11, 1939 ~ March 28, 2022 (age 82)

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     Joan Ruth Harding, 82, of Sturgeon Bay, was called Home to be with the Lord, early Monday morning, March 28, 2022 at St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay.

     She was born April 11, 1939 in Sturgeon Bay, the daughter of Ernest Thorvald Austad and Ruby Ruth (Dickinson) Austad. Joan grew up attending St. Joseph Parish in Sturgeon Bay where she received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation and remained a lifelong member. She attended Sturgeon Bay High School and graduated with the class of 1957. Joan initially worked for the telephone office in Sturgeon Bay. She was united in marriage to Donald Harding on November 16, 1957 at her home parish of St. Joseph. Joan returned to work for a local CPA office, which she started working for during her senior year of high school. She attended Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College in Sturgeon Bay in the early 1960s for a couple years and studied philosophy and medical transcription. 

     Don served in the United States Coast Guard, and during his service, he and Joan lived in Ohio and New York. They returned home to Sturgeon Bay in 1963. Joan was employed as a certified nursing assistant with Door County Memorial Hospital in Sturgeon Bay in the 1960s. She eventually became a medical transcriptionist at the hospital where she worked for 14 years and then transferred to medical records for 22 years until her retirement.

     Joan used to sing in the choir at St. Joseph Catholic Church and was active in the Christian Mothers, helping serve numerous funeral lunches over the years. Professionally, she belonged to the American Association for Medical Transcription (AAMT). Joan was an avid reader, especially of historical novels, and Philippa Gregory was one of her favorite authors. She enjoyed traveling all over with Don, including overseas to England where they visited London and West Minster Abbey. 

     Joan's family meant the world to her; she loved them so much. She will be missed by her husband, Don Harding, with whom she was blessed to share over 64 years of marriage; sons, Jeffrey (Margaret) Harding, Michael Harding, both of Sturgeon Bay, and Edward (Lori) Harding of Wallace, MI; grandchildren, Eric (Kelly) Harding and Callyn (Mitch) Graf, Ryan (Maria) Harding, Kendra Harding, and Liam Ostrand, Tyler (Diana) Vandertie, and Mackenzie and Zachary Harding; great-grandchildren, Evelyn and Samuel Harding and Calvin Vandertie; siblings, Linda (Larry) Stuth of Sturgeon Bay, Debbie (Jeff) Gorham of Port Charlotte, FL, Bill (Laurie) Guth of Waukesha; brothers-in-law, Greg Lambiotte of Green Bay and Ralph Kasten of Sturgeon Bay; other relatives; and friends.

     She was preceded in death by her father, Ernest Austad; mother (and stepfather), Ruby (Chester) Guth; daughter-in-law, Jill Harding; siblings, Peggy Kasten, Jane Lambiotte, Edward (Donna) Austad, and Cheryl "Cheri" (Bernard Jr. "Skip") DeGroot; special niece, Kim Austad; and other relatives.

     Joan's life will be honored with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 4, 2022 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay with Fr. Robert Stegmann as celebrant. She will be laid to rest in the St. Joseph Cemetery Mausoleum.

     Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m.

     Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay is assisting the Harding family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Joan may be shared with her family through her tribute page at




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