Joann L. Paulson

August 30, 1949 ~ June 2, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old


Joann Loreen McMorran was born August 30, 1949, at Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake to William and Edith (Johnson) McMorran.  Joann Paulson entered the kingdom of Heaven Friday, June 2, 2023, at the Good Samaritan Home, in Lakota, ND with her husband Ken by her side.

Joann grew up on the McMorran family farm near Lawton, North Dakota, and was the youngest of three children.  She spent most of her days in the barn playing with the animals or riding her beloved horse, Lady.  Joann was a member of 4H, played sports and the flute in the band at Lakota High School, where she graduated in 1967.  After high school she attended cosmetology school in Grand Forks, ND and earned her Master Cosmetologist license.  While attending what Joann called “beauty school”, she met Kirby Zellers from Columbiana, OH.  They were married and had two children, Kurt and Jodi.  The couple lived in Larimore and Brocket, ND during Kirby’s military service at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

On December 12, 1980, Joann married the love of her life, Ken Paulson of Webster, ND.  The couple moved with Kurt and Jodi to the family farm near Webster and had one son, Hans Kenneth Paulson, born August 1, 1983.  This began the greatest love, and heartbreak in Joann’s life.  Shortly after his birth, Hans was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that would sadly shorten his beautiful life.  Due to his heart defect, Hans was oxygen deprived which led to his lips and fingernails having a dark blue purple coloring.  His high school friends nicknamed Hans “The Big Purple” and began Joann’s obsession with everything purple.  The unwavering love, devotion, care, and sacrifice that Joann and Ken gave to Hans during his 17 years with them will forever live in our hearts as a testament of God’s unconditional love for all of His children.  God called Hans home to the kingdom of Heaven May 1, 2001.  The purple hole left in her heart has now been healed as she and Hans have made their heavenly reunion.

Joann was a caring, loving and selflessly devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend to all who knew her.  She loved to plant her garden and flowers in the spring, to watch her grandchildren play sports, perform in dance or music, and play card games with them.  Just like her mom, Joann loved to bake cookies and sweets and was world renown for her Choke Cherry jelly.  She was a devoted member of the St. Olaf Lutheran Church and would make new baby blankets for friends and members of the congregation.

Joann is survived by her husband, Kenneth “Ken” Paulson of Devils Lake, ND; her children, Kurt (Kimberly) Zellers of Maple Grove, MN and Jodi Zellers of Devils Lake; her brother, Robbin (Doris) McMorran of Lawton, ND; her sister, Janet (Steve) Vaughn of Littleton, CO; her grandchildren, Joshua (Stephanie) Sell of San Antonio, TX, Parker Zellers of Corvallis, OR; Hannah Weber of Minot, ND; Reagan H., William C. & Bennett Hans Zellers of Maple Grove, MN; great grandson, Gavin Sell of San Antonio, TX; brother-in-law, Doug Paulson of Devils Lake, ND; and several nieces and nephews from her extended family.

She was preceded in death by her son, Hans Kenneth Paulson; her father & mother, William and Edith McMorran; her father & mother-in-law, Melvin and Beverly Paulson; her brother-in-law, Mark Paulson; and her granddaughter, Lauren Faith Zellers.

In lieu of flowers, Joann’s family suggests a donation to the Wish of a Lifetime foundation www.wishofalifetime.org which helps grant older adults wishes.

The Funeral Service will be held at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, ND, on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.  Interment will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery.  Visitation will be held at the Aaker Funeral Home of Lakota, ND, on Friday, beginning at 5:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m.  Visitation will continue at the church on Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service.  

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joann L. Paulson, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program

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June 9, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Aaker Funeral Home
116 C Avenue West
Lakota, ND 58344

Funeral Service
June 10, 2023

12:00 PM
St. Olaf Lutheran Church
601 - 6th Street NE
Devils Lake, ND 58301


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