Joan Risty, longtime voice of the Cannon Falls News on KDHL, passed away Wednesday at age 83 at The Gardens in Cannon Falls.

Joan was a joy to work with and I have to admit I've missed having her join me at the Cannon Valley Fair the past few years due to poor health.

Joan did the Cannon Falls news on KDHL from 1960 until 2013 and began each broadcast with her take on the weather. Frequently we would hear her dogs on the news, which let us know the news was being aired from her home kitchen.

Joan and Mike Morrissey got along fabulously for years during her 9:10AM time slot. Probably because both hailed from South Dakota. Joan was born in Sioux Falls and Mike was from Aberdeen.

She was married to Roger Risty for 63 years.

For many years Joan and Roger coordinated the Fourth of July parade in Cannon Falls on the final day of the Cannon Valley Fair. Joan announced the parade for 22 years.

She loved all animals, growing up with horses in South Dakota. Joan enjoyed watching birds, taught her kids and grandkids to appreciate nature, where to find the rare Dwarf Trout Lily.

Joan was a perfect fit for the Cannon Falls news because of her creativity and ability to "wing it."

She was an accomplished pianist and loved to read, write short stories, paint, sew and do craft work.

A celebration of life gathering will be Sunday, June 4, from 1-4PM at Lundberg Funeral Home in Cannon Falls. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider a donation to the Cannon Falls Library or Cannon Falls Food Shelf.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit with Joan and Roger a few times over the years outside of the work environment and found them to be among the most genuine people I have ever known.

Picture from 2016 Cannon Valley Fair- photo by Jerry Groskreutz
Picture from 2016 Cannon Valley Fair- photo by Jerry Groskreutz

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