Obituary for Joanne M. Tomalka

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Joanne M. Tomalka, 86, of Onalaska, passed away Friday, May 25, 2018 at the Gundersen Health System. She was born in La Crosse on February 17, 1932 to Frank and Edna (Jungen) Tomalka and graduated from Central High School in 1949.
In 1942 Joanne began singing in the English Lutheran junior choir at age 12. From there she joined the Treble Choir which consisted of teen girls. She was asked to join the Senior Choir early because she said, "I was too tall of the Treble Choir". Overall, Joanne sang in the English Lutheran choir for 65 years. When asked what the highlight was over her 65 years of devotion to the choir she stated, "In 1988 the choir was recommended by a UWL director to partake in a Carnegie Hall concert with seven other church choirs around the United States. We had a great time. I developed friendships I still have today."
Joanne worked at La Crosse Cooler Company for 37 years and at English Lutheran Church for 11 years until her retirement in 1997. She was a lifetime member of English Lutheran Church; a member of the Senior and Bell Chiors, Altar Ministry, Quilting Group, Funeral Committee and served on the Church Council. She also enjoyed sewing, embroidery, knitting and crafts.
She is survived by a sister, Shirley Ryan of Onalaska, a sister-in-law, Marion Tomalka, nieces, Ann Sessoms and Jeanne Smaby, nephews, Tom Tomalka, Rob Tomalka, Frank Smaby, Ed Smaby , and Jeff Smaby.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother and a sister.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, June 9th at 10:30 a.m. at English Lutheran Church, 1509 King Street. Pastor Mark Solyst will officiate and burial will be Oak Grove Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, June 8th at the Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 1425 Jackson Street, from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. and again on Saturday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until time of services. In lieu of flowers memorials to English Lutheran Church are preferred.
The family would like to thank the entire staff of the 3rd, 4th and 6th floors at Gundersen Health and Dr. Momont and his staff for the comfort and care given to Joanne. Information and online condolences may be given to the family at www.dickinsonfuneralhomes.com.