Joan Smith-Olsen, age 64, of Waverly and Eagan, passed away peacefully early Monday morning, Feb. 17, 2014, at her home in Waverly, surrounded by her family and friends, after a seven-year fight with cancer.
She was born June 7, 1949.
Joan, “First Lady of Sun Country,” made a career in aviation, first in 1968 as a stewardess for Braniff Airways; and later, as one of the co-founders of Sun Country Airlines, where she served in many capacities including director of inflight until 2007, when she returned to flying in line as a flight attendant.
Joan made a lasting impression on everyone she met and was loved and respected by her many friends, co-workers, and passengers at Sun Country. She was also well-known for the holiday decorations that she loved to display, including her many Christmas trees and the yearly Halloween display in her front yard in Eagan.
Joan is survived by her husband, James Olsen; mother, Artie Stegora; son, Casey (Amy) Smith; daughter, Kelly (Bryan) Janowiec; step-children, Mark (Kris) Olsen, Lori (Mike) Finney, Michelle (Clark) Camilli, and Nicole (Rob) Sampson; 18 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
She is further survived by three sisters, Sue (Jeff) Floding, Carol (Vernon) Scott, and Mary (Doug) Olson; and three brothers, Duane (Kathy) Stegora, Allen Stegora, and Tom Stegora.
Joan will be truly missed by all of her friends and relatives, but especially by her grandkids and her Bull Dog, “Bear.”
There was a time to gather Saturday, Feb. 22 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Joan and Jim’s home in Waverly, with a memorial service taking place at 1 p.m. at their home.
The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo, assisted the family with arrangements.