Cover photo for Joan Pollema's Obituary
Joan Pollema Profile Photo
1946 Joan 2022

Joan Pollema

August 2, 1946 — July 27, 2022

St. Charles


Joan Catherine Pollema, 75, of Saint Charles died, July 27, 2022, surrounded by her family. 

Joan was born on August 2, 1946 to Gregory and Evabell (Davidshofer) Kramer. She was the seventh of seven children and grew up on their family farm near Elba, Minnesota. Joan graduated from Saint Charles High School in 1964. She attended Winona State University where she studied social work. She married Harold Peter Fort Jr. in 1967.  They went on to raise their five children. They later divorced.  Joan married David Herman Pollema on June 28, 2003 at Saint Charles Borromeo Church. They resided in Saint Charles together. Joan worked at Camera Art and Arbor Gardens; however her career highlight was owning and opening Grandma’s Variety, where her homemade candles and Saints apparel were sold.

Joan lived by the motto “live simply.” Some of her simple pleasures included: time with her grandchildren, visiting with her special friend Robyn, neighbors and passerbys on her front porch, camping, reading on her back swing, or watching wildlife out her windows. She is well known for her witty humor and easy to talk to personality.

Joan is survived by her five children, or the fabulous five, as referred to by Joan. Tom Fort (Sara) of Saint Charles, Carolyn Nicklay (Rick) of Saint Charles, Sue Paul (Ryan) of Saint Charles, Joe Fort (Jen) of Zumbro Falls, Julie Carlson (Tom) of Saint Charles; Ten grandchildren Brandon Nicklay, Josh Nicklay (Mikayla), Cody Nicklay (Amanda), Ashley Paul, Andrew Paul, Morgan Carlson, Haley Carlson, Eva Fort, Charlie Fort, and Emma Fort. Two great grandchildren Brooklynn Nicklay and Miles Nicklay; her siblings Edward Kramer and Leo Kramer both of Elba, Minnesota, brother in law Thomas Helfter of Le Center, Minnesota and her beloved four-legged companion, Jackson.

She is preceded in death by her husband David; her parents, sisters, Regina Leisen, Mildred Dee, and Lucille Helfter; brother Leonard Kramer; sisters-in-law Dorothy Pollema, JoAn Kramer, and Donna Kramer; brothers-in-law Joseph Leisen and Stanley Dee.

Funeral mass will be held at 4 pm Saturday, August 6th, 2022, at Saint Aloysius Catholic Church in Elba. Visitation will be two hours prior to the funeral on Saturday. Burial will be at Saint Aloysius Cemetery in Elba, Minnesota. Hoff Funeral Service of St. Charles is assisting the family with arrangements.


Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 6, 2022

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

St. Aloysius Catholic Church

150 N Main St, Elba, MN 55910

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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