Joanne Lillian Yoki

January 15, 1937January 18, 2018

Joanne Hietala Yoki, age 81, of Duluth, passed away at home on Thursday, January 18, 2018. She was born on January 15, 1937 in Deer River Township, MN to W. Elmer and Lillian (Pavola) Isaacs.

She graduated from Deer River High School in 1955, and graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Duluth in 1958. She retired from her nursing career at St. Luke’s Hospital in 1997 and was an active member of the St. Luke’s Alumni Association until the time of her illness.

Joanne was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Russell Hietala in 1991; her husband, Mahlon Yoki in 1998; and her daughter, Patricia in 2006.

She is survived by her three children, John (Bridget) Hietala, Joseph (Heather) Hietala, and Jane (Eric) Johnson; five step-children, Lon (Laura) Yoki, Denise (Dave) Armbruster, Pamela (Todd) Isaacs, Lance (Carolyn) Yoki, Suzanne (Ryan) Kyllonen; one brother, Jerrold (Joan) Isaacs; one sister, Barbara Hemmila; sisters-in-law, Flora Hietala, Evelyn Heikkila, Donna (Jim) Kovala, Elaine (John) Hyland and Mary Yoki. She is also survived by 29 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and a host of brothers and sisters in faith.

A special thank you to the St. Luke’s hospice staff for their care and support.

Visitation: 5:00 pm – 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at the Independent Apostolic Lutheran Church, 6273 Hwy. 2 in Munger. Visitation will continue on Wednesday, January 24th from 10:00 a.m. until the 11:00 a.m. Funeral Service at the church. Please leave a memory of Joanne or words of support for her family at


  • Visitation Tuesday, January 23, 2018
  • Visitation Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Joanne Lillian Yoki

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Joanne Sirard

January 24, 2018

My heartfelt sympathy go out to Joanne's family. I knew and worked with Joanne at St Lukes for many years. She was a wonderful, compassionate person and a great nurse. She holds a special place in my heart. Joanne Sirard

Jan Biga

January 23, 2018

My deepest sympathy to Joanne's family. I graduated from St. Lukes with Joanne so our friendship goes back for 60 years.
I always looked forward to keeping in touch and seeing her at our reunions. With caring thoughts, Jan Wicklund Biga

Julia Kochsiek

January 23, 2018

I knew Joanne when I worked at St Lukes. What a nice person. Sympathy goes to her family during this difficult time. Julia Kochsiek

Carol Korte

January 22, 2018

My heart and prayers go out to Joanne's family and friends. I worked with her and her daughter Patty at SLH. They were both dedicated and compassionate nurses, and were a tribute to their profession. Sincerely, Carol Korte

Delores Schaar Bunker

January 20, 2018

I am so sorry to read of Joanne's passing. She and I were in the same class at Deer River High School. She was a very kind and intelligent person. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.