Mary JoAnne Carl

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Mary JoAnne Carl, 77, of La Crosse, lost her battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease on May 29.

She was born Feb. 2, 1941, in Prairie du Chien, to Marlowe and Ann (Richter) Waller.  She grew up in Prairie du Chien and graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in 1958. On Nov. 7, 1959, she married Melvyn F. Carl. They promptly started a family and moved to La Crosse.

Mary Jo was a phenomenal woman. She was admired for her ambitiousness and her ability to create beautiful things. Examples of her artistic flare in the form of ceramics, restored furniture, sewing and quilting projects, scrumptious deserts and holiday decorations, could always be found throughout her home she somehow found time to keep spotless.

Mary Jo was renowned for her baking and cake decorating skills. In fact, baking became a career for her that lasted 38 years, ending in 2012 when she retired as the head baker for UW-L dining services and the president of their local labor union. Birthday cakes to wedding cakes, and everything in between, Mary Jo’s cake decorating skills could only be compared to the love she put into each cake, year after year.

Mary Jo, with her sidekick Mel, loved to laugh and socialize with family and friends. Playing video poker was her favorite past time and more times than not, she was able to beat the odds. Together, they attended many events over the years, mostly to support their grandchildren. Whether in Westby, Prairie du Chien, or La Crosse, Mary Jo had fun and was fun to be with. As a friend and as the matriarch of a family that adored her, she will be greatly missed.

Mary Jo is survived by her husband, Melvyn; sister, Patricia Kramer; brother, Tom Waller; three children, Lori (Ken) Manning, Todd (Marybeth) Carl, Randy (Jackie) Carl; five grandchildren, Christopher and Nicholas Neely, Dane and Lexi Carl, and Tanner Rochelt; two honorary grandchildren, Trevor McDonald and Nicole Rochelt.

Mary Jo was preceded in death by her parents; son, Tim Carl; and brother Terrance Waller.

A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, June 8, at Mary, Mother of the Church parish, 2006 Weston St., La Crosse. Father Brian D. Konopa will officiate. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery. 

A visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

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