Joanne died peacefully in her home with her daughter Mary by her side on August 2nd, 2022.

Joanne was born in Moorhead, MN to Lars and Eleanor Sondrall.

A vibrant personality from the beginning, Joanne was an excellent student and musical talent who hosted her own radio show at just 14 years of age. She attended Moorhead high school where she was actively involved in music programs. She continued her musical career after high school as a trained opera singer, pianist, and volunteer soloist in various organizations and churches in the Fargo/Moorhead area. She later
recorded her album “Why Have You Chosen Me” with Christian Recording Studios. Anyone who met Joanne could tell from the moment she smiled that she would touch the lives of many and leave a lasting impact.

Joanne always found time to share her passion of music with others as she was a member of the Fargo fine arts club, president of the Fargo Moorhead Music club, attended school for music in Chicago, actively volunteered at Sons of Norway. She was also a part of Christian women’s club, led an in-home bible study, volunteered at Sanford, and played piano and sang for residents in nursing homes/senior living
centers. Somewhere in the midst of all her musical/volunteer activity and being a devoted wife and mother, Joanne found time to support NDSU football as the voice who opened the home games with her rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner for 15 years. As an NDSU fan once said, “When she sings the national anthem, the flag stands straight out, even on a windless day! Her soprano voice inspires everybody in the stands.”

Joanne lived a truly selfless life. She donated her time and talent anywhere she was needed. Her passion for living a Christ-centered life, family, music, travel, and her Norwegian Heritage will last for
generations to come. She was a light to anyone who had the honor of meeting her and was a true testament of unconditional love and support.

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and the life is in his son. Whoever believes in his son has life. 1 John 5:11-12a

She is predeceased by her loving husband Fred Schlanser (1994), her father Lars, and mother Eleanor.

She is survived by her sister Gail Monson (Bob), three children, Kathy Schleicher (Don), Fred Schlanser Jr. (Stacey) and Mary Persson (Brandon Aalgaard), seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.


Private family services are being held.:

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  1. Sorry for your loss. Great memories of her singing the National Anthem before many Bison Football games. Celebrate a wonderful life. Loved the strength she had in her faith. Sympathies and prayers. Erv & Linda Inniger

  2. My second mom.
    Great memories of Kathy and I riding on the back convertible top holder, open air, pretending we were beauty queens while she drove us around town, age 6. Singing Purple People Eater. Weeks at Pelican Lake/Deyers (sp?) Resort. Dressing up to dine at the Tree Top or Biltmore. Learning entertainment dining table set-up, singing around her grand piano. So many more. She graced us singing at my dad’s funeral…. What a voice!
    Quite the wonderful lady.
    She will be missed by all.
    Prayers to Kathy, Mary, Fred Jr. And grands.

  3. Joanne Schlanser — What a beautiful picture of her. I met Joanne about 40 years ago. She was always a lady of grace, class, calm, kindness, faith and — she was impeccably dressed. She and my own mother shared the same birthday so I thought of Joanne every December 1st. I have many good thoughts and memories of Joanne.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of Joanne’s passing. We were next door neighbors for 10 years and became dear friends. We shared a love of animals, Carol Widman’s chocolate covered potato chips, and good coffee at Atomic or Luna. Joanne was so full of fun, and I loved hearing the many wonderful stories about her travels and her music. My late husband and I really enjoyed hearing her play the piano through our kitchen window. The last time I was able to see Joanne was when I came back to Fargo for a visit. I brought us Luna coffee and something sweet , and we laughed and talked at her kitchen table just like old times. When she showed me her drawer FULL of biscotti, we really had a laugh and I photographed the moment! She sure loved her biscotti, and I’m so happy I have that photograph to remember her by. Rest in peace, dear Joanne. And my sincere condolences to Gail, Kathy, Mary, Fred Jr. and your spouses and children. Sandy Ben-Haim

  5. I loved seeing your mom come in to Fargo Country Club. She always had a book with her when she came for lunch. She was so pleasant and a joy to be around. I was fortunate to know her. My condolences to you all.

  6. Freddy, Mary and Kathy, so sorry to hear of your moms passing. She was a wonderful lady. I still get goose bumps thinking of her singing at the Bison games or even when I would stop over and she was practicing in the living room. She always had time to listen to our adventures and laugh at our stories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless.
    Rick and Lisa Millar

  7. So very sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing Mary, she was a kind hearted person, with a fabulous singing voice. My sympathies to you and your entire family. Hugs.

  8. Fred, Mary and Kathy,
    I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. There is no one else like a mother. My prayers are with you all and hope that the memories of Joanne will help ease the pain and sadness.

  9. Mary and family,
    So sorry to read about Joanne’s passing. I loved having her as a neighbor on 19th Ave. S.
    Hugs to you.
    Mary McManus

  10. Sad to hear of our cousins passing. Always a nice time when the Swanson cousins got together. Condolences and Prayers to Kathy, Fred, Mary, Gail.

  11. Although we were not close friends, I knew and worked with Joanne (as well as her husband Fred) back in the ’80’s when we were all highly involved in the Arts in the FM community; The FM Music Club, the Opera Company, and the Lake Agassiz Arts Council were just a couple projects at that time. Joanne was always a lovely lady and a respected model for other Christians. Rest in peace, dear Joanne.

  12. Joanne was a neighbor of mine years ago and she was such a gracious lady and faith filled. I know that she is with our Lord and Savior now but want to extend deepest condolences to Fred and Mary. It is difficult to lose someone so dear.

  13. Our family is thinking about you all.
    We have so many wonderful memories of Joanne. She made this world a better place.

    Rodney , Jana, Jodi Swanson

  14. Our deepest sympathy to you Mary & family for your great loss! Your mom lived quite a wonderful life! She was a special woman & a true vessel of God!! Our thoughts & prayers are with you!!
    Love & Hugs,
    Tim & Gwen Watson

  15. I was deeply saddened by the news that your Mom had passed away, Kathy. I remember running into Joanne many times in the cat food aisle at Hornbacher’s, and the first thing I would always ask her was “How is Kathy doing?”. And then we would spend some time talking about our cats. Joanne always welcomed me into her home with open arms , and I”ll always remember her friendship.

  16. Today is your birthday, Joanne. I still think of you and your family often. You were/are my Fargo family. Hope you are having an amazing time with Jesus in Heaven.

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