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MADISON—Joan Hallingstad, age 82, passed away peacefully on April 15, 2019, at Agrace HospiceCare surrounded by her family. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. She attended Madison West High School and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees from UW-Madison. Joan was an outstanding teacher and taught Family and Consumer Education at Van Hise Middle School, where she was recognized for curriculum development, and received the Herb Kohl Teacher of the year award. Outside the classroom Joan was one of the founding members and a director of the Wisconsin Epilepsy Foundation.

Her love of learning continued into retirement where she worked part-time at the Jewelers Workshop, earning the nickname “Diamond Lil.” Joan enjoyed creating beauty and sharing it with others. She enjoyed making stained glass, trying new recipes, creating a beautiful garden, setting a dinner table with China and crystal acquired in her many international travels. She enjoyed opera, ballroom dancing, and traveling. One of her favorite trips was an opera cruise on the Danube river.

Joan will be remembered as a loving mom, the best “grandma Joan” and “funny grandma.” She will also be remembered for her sassy sense of humor, love of bright colors and her favorite color, slime green.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, James and Deanne (DeeDee) Donoghue; and great-grandson, Dean. Joan is survived by her four children, Martha, Jon (Judy), Eric (Debby), and Jim (Julie). She is also survived by her sister, Deb McCown (Brent); along with her brother, Dan Donoghue (Nancy); 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend special thanks to Agrace Hospice Purple team, and Agrace HospiceCare Residence for the exceptional care and compassion extended to our mom and our family.

A celebration of life for Joan will be announced at a later date.

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Memorials may be gifted in Joan’s memory to your local shelter for Domestic Violence, the Wisconsin Epilepsy Foundation, or the Agrace Foundation. Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

the life of: Hallingstad, Joan
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