Joanne Finstad-Good, age 86, passed away on May 21 at her home in New York City. She was born on July 22, 1933 at the family’s apartment above the Finstad Auto-Marine Shop in Ranier, Minn., to George and Clara Finstad. She is survived by her sister, Connie, of New York City.
Her love for Ranier, Rainy Lake and its history was a natural outcome of growing up with a lake as a front yard. As a child, she watched boats of all sizes and models pull into Ranier for repair or winter storage at George Finstad’s Auto-Marine Shop, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Joanne was confirmed at the Zion Lutheran Church, joined the Job’s Daughters and later, the Order of the Eastern Star. She was elected senior class president and went on to fulfill the caption alongside her graduation picture in the 1951 Falls High School yearbook. “On the ladder of success, she will have a place among the best.”
Her Master’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota led to a position with the university’s Department of Pathology. Forty-six of Joanne’s papers appeared in top scientific and medical publications, acquiring over 1,000 citations and laying the foundation for the field of immunology.
In 1972, she and her husband, Robert A. Good, moved from Minneapolis to New York City where he served as Director of Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. The following decade was filled with meaningful work and travel to countries around the world.
Joanne’s life came full circle in her mid-fifties with the purchase of a beautiful piece of lakefront property, just a few blocks from the Auto-Marine Shop. Every summer from that point on, Joanne commuted between the bright lights of New York City and the northern lights of Rainy Lake. When the worn-out cabins had been renovated, new docks built and the lakefront cleared of trash, The Lakeview opened for guests.
Over time, the property evolved into Joanne’s vision of a peaceful summer residence for people who appreciated the quiet beauty of her comfortable lakeside cabins and RV sites. Visitors often found themselves part of an extended family that enjoyed “happy hours” down by the lake, seasoned with good food and wide-ranging conversations that continued until sunset.
Joanne’s countless friends, relatives and guests, including generations of chipmunks, ducks and dragonflies, will miss their good-hearted hostess and companion whose parting words were always, “Stay well and keep laughing.”
The burial took place at the family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes, Minn., with David-Donehower Funeral and Cremation Services providing the arrangements. To send a condolence or share a memory of Joanne, please visit www.daviddonehower.com. Memorials in Joanne’s name can be directed to the charity or organization of the donor’s choice.
A celebration of life will be held in late July at the Ranier Community Building.