Joan Mary Rans

Joan Rans, 80, of Niles, passed away at Memorial Hospital in South Bend on Saturday, May 11, 2019, while surrounded with love by her family.

Joan was born on October 28, 1938, to the late Anthony and Pearl (Mayville) Werschay in Duluth, Minnesota. Growing up in Duluth Joan and her sister Carol spent their summers together on Bergen Lake. Between boating, swimming, fishing, and Mike's Shack Carol believes Joan's heart never left Bergen Lake. After graduating from St. Jean’s High School, Joan moved to Germany.  While in Germany she owned a local restaurant.  She and her family later moved to Minnesota to be near her sister, and best friend, Carol.  While in Minnesota the two operated an assisted living facility together. In the early 90’s Joan moved to Michigan and then later moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, Ralph to be closer to his daughter. After Ralph passed away Joan continued to live in Albuquerque with her step-daughter and step-son-in-law.

In 2014 Joan moved back to Michigan. This turned out to be her best adventure yet.  She was a storyteller extraordinaire, her family’s rock of faith, a consummate collector of all things leaving her home like a museum of treasures, a breast cancer survivor, the apple of her family’s eye, and was able to share her love with everyone.  Joan was the most active, spunky, and loving 80 year old you could have ever met.  She enjoyed meeting new people, socializing, shopping, and spending time with her grandkids and great-grandkids. Joan relished her time as a great-grandmother. Being such an active person lead Joan to her job at Martin’s Grocery where she demonstrated food products.  Joan loved the atmosphere, the people she met, and the friends she made.  She attended every event she could for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, encouraged them to always do better, and loved to take them shopping. Joan was a regular at the local Goodwill store and would peruse every item they had even if it took her 8 hours.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Ralph Richelt.  Joan is survived by her daughters, Lynn (Donovan) Syryduk of Ottawa, Canada and Karin Motry of Niles; sister, Carol (Norman) Mahla of Minnesota; step-daughter, Lisa (James) Harmon; grandchildren, Brenton (Lindsay) Wahl , Chelsea (Colton) Spenner, Cody (Melanie Beebe) Cummings, Crystal (Derek) Kennedy, Nichole Syryduk, and Shane (Diana) Syryduk; 14 great-grandchildren; and many extended family members and close friends.

A time to gather and share memories will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at her granddaughter’s home located at 402 Hill Street in Niles.