Funeral Notice: Joan Marie Stephens

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Stephens, Joan Marie Stephens, Joan Marie (nee O'Connell), age 92, of Edina, died peacefully in her sleep on October 22, 2018. Wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. Survived by daughter, Barb Zipoy (Mike); grandsons, Jack Zipoy (Arya) and Paul Zipoy (Abby); great-grandchildren, Ruxin, Zoey and Blake Zipoy; all of the Twin Cities. Also survived by brother, Howard O'Connell, of St Paul, and many nieces and nephews who held her dear. She was preceded in death by John Stephens ("Jack"), her loving husband of 60 years; her parents, Howard and Marie O'Connell; sister, Corrine Aschenbrener; and brother, Daniel O'Connell. Known for her kindness, positive spirit and ready smile, Joan was born on March 15, 1926 in St. Paul, MN, one of four siblings in a close- knit Irish family. She attended Central High School in St. Paul and the University of Minnesota. She met the love of her life, John, on a blind date and they soon began building their fun and interesting life together. Before settling down in Minnesota they lived in New York, Illinois and Ohio. They raised daughter Barb in southwest Minneapolis, where Joan was an active volunteer at Annunciation School and Church, and for many other organizations such as Meals on Wheels, a testament to her caring and compassionate nature. Joan enjoyed playing Bridge, especially when paired with her daughter, and was an enthusiastic golfer at Hazeltine National Golf Club and Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ, where she and husband John spent winter months for 30 years. She began piano lessons as an adult and became a skilled player, despite her late start. She also dedicated countless hours to the Jazz Party, which was co-founded by jazz-loving John, and ran from 1985 1991 in the Twin Cities. Joan held a special place in her heart for her grandsons Jack and Paul, was active in their lives, and served as a dedicated cheerleader for their teams and special interests. Although unassuming and always focused on the well being of others, Joan was perpetually fashionable and certain to look her best, never tiring from her decades-long search for the perfect pair of khaki pants. She also showered affection on her dogs Katie and Sophie. To her family and friends, Joan embodied the sentiment of "doing small things with great love." Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 26th, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 5071 Eden Avenue, Edina. Mass will begin at 10:30 am, with visitation starting an hour prior at the church. Special thanks to the staff of York Gardens, Edina, for the love and care given Joan in recent years, particularly the last 18 months in Memory Care. Also, heartfelt appreciation to Wendy Brom and niece Mary Aschenbrener for their love and many kindnesses shown to Joan. Memorials preferred to Minnesota Bridge Education Fund or the #LIVIN Foundation. Edina Chapel 952-920-3996