Audrey Jean WymanAudrey Jean Wyman passed from this earth to continue on her journey of gathering knowledge and teaching on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Waiting to welcome Audrey are three daughters, Ellen Biskey, Mary Vanderpoel and Patricia Wyman; great-granddaughter Gretta Wyman; her parents, Michael and Louise Keasling; her sister Agnes Joyner; brother Daniel Keasling; and ex-husband Richard Wyman.
Audrey Jean Wyman passed from this earth to continue on her journey of gathering knowledge and teaching on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Waiting to welcome Audrey are three daughters, Ellen Biskey, Mary Vanderpoel and Patricia Wyman; great-granddaughter Gretta Wyman; her parents, Michael and Louise Keasling; her sister Agnes Joyner; brother Daniel Keasling; and ex-husband Richard Wyman.
Audrey was born in Exeland, Wis., in April 1924 as the youngest of three children. A few years later they moved to the family farm where her father and grandfather raised work horses. Audrey learned to drive a double team of horses before learning to drive a car.
Audrey graduated with a Rural Teaching Certificate in 1944 after attending Eau Claire State Teachers College. It was there that Audrey met her future husband, Richard D. Wyman. They married in December 1945. After graduation Audrey taught in Eau Claire, Clark and Sawyer counties from 1944 to 1951. She said she was hired to teach in the one-room schoolhouses because she could start a fire with green wood.
As the children came along, Audrey devoted her time and energy to being a full-time mother and homemaker while moving to many different towns where Richard was employed as a teacher. In the early winter of 1961, the family moved to "Audrey's Farm" in Wrenshall, Minn., where for many years they produced pure maple syrup.
A courageous woman with 12 children at home, Audrey returned to college full time at the College of St. Scholastica, graduating with honors in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree and an Elementary Teaching Certificate. Audrey continued her lifelong learning process at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and received her Master of Education degree with an emphasis in Indian Culture in 1977. While attending UMD Audrey took a karate class which started a passion for the study of martial arts. Audrey attained the Karate Do rank of 4th Kyu in the Japan Karate Association.
As a gifted teacher who had the ability to install a willingness to learn in her students, Audrey taught in Duluth School District 709 from 1969 to 1981 with a few years at the Indian Alternative Learning Center and Duluth Open School. Audrey became the Indian tutor for the Indian Education Program in Duluth from 1981 to 1986. After retiring from full-time teaching, Audrey returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher in Duluth, Minn., and Wrenshall.
Shortly before retiring the first time, Audrey became involved as a living history interpreter at various recreated fur posts and historic sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin and began another career of teaching about the interaction between the fur trade and the Indian way of life. She came to be known as "Noki" (Nokomis or grandmother) to many at the fur post and at living history rendezvous. Through this reenactment of the past she met Elfie Johanson and made a life together in Nevis, Minn.
A quest for knowledge led Audrey to try many things and her interests were varied. Writing short stories, gardening, quilting and weaving were a few of her pastimes. As a member of the Duluth Canoe Club, Audrey quit whitewater canoeing in her 60s after a particularly harrowing experience. She continued traveling cross country well into her 80s to attend family functions. Audrey was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis for almost 60 years, and found peace and comfort in her strong faith in God.
Audrey is survived by her children, Mollie (Cleo) Ashworth of Duluth, Allan Wyman of LaPointe, Wis., Teresa Wyman (Dennis Center) of Washburn, Wis., Brigid (Mark) LaPlante of Hermantown, Minn., Barbara (Steve Sather) Wyman and Dan (Lori) Wyman of Cloquet, Minn., Henry (Linda) Wyman of Wrenshall, Jerry Wyman of Nevis, John (Carol Korpi) Wyman of Kelsey, Minn., Sarah (Jerry) Loss of Elk River, Minn., and Susan (Gary) Zahradka of St. Paul, Minn.; Elwynn Johanson, her partner of 18 years, and his children, Cheryl (Roger) Roshan, Karen (Dennis) Kiewatt, Laurie (Robert) Malloy and Brian (Casey) Johanson. Audrey leaves a valuable legacy to her 55 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson, as well as many family members and friends.
Audrey will be spending Eternity holding Baby Angels in heaven's nursery and teaching in the Angel Grade School.
The family extends a special "thank you" to the staff at The Lighthouse of Cloquet for the loving environment and special memory care given to Audrey in her three years as a resident.
In honor of Audrey's wishes, her service will be a time of remembrance with stories, laughter, jokes, music and good food. Visitation will be Saturday, Dec. 15, from 5-6 p.m. with dinner and remembrance to follow at Nelson Funeral Care, 1004 Cloquet Ave., Cloquet. Please see the online guest book at www.nelsonfuneral.net.
Memorials to Audrey may be made to your local Education Foundation.
December 13, 2012 ~ Pine Journal, Cloquet, Minn.