Joan R. (Borgwardt) Gullickson Halverson: 1940-2022
Joan R. (Borgwardt) Gullickson Halverson of Madison, Wis., passed away on Saturday, July 16, 2022, at UW Hospital.
She was born on Jan. 19, 1940, in Yankton, S.D., daughter of Leonard and Anne Kristine Gullickson. Joan married Robert Borgwardt on Sept. 25, 1964, in Madison. After Pastor Bob passed away in 2003, Joan married Ron Halverson on Sept. 15, 2007.
Joan began her education in a one room schoolhouse in Freeman, S.D., then attended Augustana Academy in Canton, S.D., where she graduated from high school. She went on to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., graduating with a degree in education in 1962. After seeing Madison featured in Life Magazine, Joan thought it was such a beautiful city that she took a position teaching second grade at Marquette Elementary.
In 1964 at the age of 24 she married Robert and took on the role of a pastor’s wife, at that time a full-time job. She also became an instant Mom to Bob’s three children, Kathy, John and Stephen. The Borgwardt family then grew again, with the addition in 1965 and 1967 of Annie and Eric.
As a pastor’s wife she served in many roles which she was passionate about, including Bethel Horizons and the Bike-A-Thon, the Bethel Art Committee, as well as being a part of creating beautiful needlepoint kneelers depicting symbols from Bethel’s stained-glass windows.
Joan was known for hosting friends and Bethel staff for social gatherings. She created a warm environment for people to share in each other’s lives, serving creative and delicious foods. Holiday meals often included guests who did not have plans, welcoming them to join her family.
She found joy in flowers and gardening, piano, and music, knitting and art, and immersed herself in learning and growing in these passions. Joan also was known for her beautiful, unique style, created from visiting resales & thrift shops with the girls.
Joan leaves a legacy of dignity and respect in the way she treated everyone. She treasured her many friends over the years. They were created through tennis, golf, yoga, her Bethel Circle and PEO Chapter, and in just living. Many of Joan’s friendships were cherished lifelong relationships.
Joan’s greatest joy was her family. She leaves with us with a legacy of love, and beautiful memories.
She is survived by her husband and admirer of 15 years, Ron Halverson; her children: John (Judy) Borgwardt, Stephen (Joanne) Borgwardt, Kathryn Borgwardt, Anne (Dave) Conlin and Eric Borgwardt; her grandchildren: Emma (Nick) Mattioli, Elizabeth, Alice, Jennifer (Ben), Laura, Joey (Martha), Zach & Alexandria Conlin and great-grandson Andrew John Mattioli; Ron’s children Eric (Aimee) Halverson and Anne Marie (Todd) Christian, and grandchildren Austin and Dillon Christian and Hannah and Delaney Halverson; her brothers, Mark and Jim; and beloved nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Janis, her nephew Michael and niece Krista, and her husband Robert.
A funeral service was held at the Bethel Lutheran Church on July 22.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Bethel Horizons, and the Bethel Foundation, both at 312 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI 53703. We also welcome you to honor Joan by giving to the charity of your choice.