133 Mason St., Onalaska, WI • Call (608) 788-2188


Joan “Jo” Leske

May 5, 2023 | 5 comments

Joan “Jo” Leske, 64, of La Crosse passed away peacefully on April 27th, 2023. She was born on April 17, 1959.

Jo, a crime show and Packer enthusiast, had seen every crime show 10 times and could recite most of the famous “Gibbs Rules” from memory. She passed on this hobby to her children and grandchildren and took great joy in figuring out who did it before they did. On Sunday, you could find her at home, feet up, Pepsi in hand yelling at the Packers (good or bad) as if she was the head coach. She never missed a game. She also had a passion for food and dancing. She owned Jo’s Corner Café, managed Bridgeman’s, and also owned E.J’s Café in Center Q. She was well known for her famous pumpkin pie, macaroni salad (secret family recipe) and you can’t forget the lefse. Between the restaurants, her 18 years at Kwik Trip, helping her parents at Lion’s Club events and Shelby Chicken Q’s, bartending, driving bus, or her more recent days at Goodwill and Sam’s Club, she always knew what her family was up to. Her family would often joke that they could never get away with anything in this town because she always knew someone somewhere. She was the type of person who made everyone feel like family and made close friends everywhere she went. Jo will be greatly missed.

Survived by her children: Joshua (Melissa) Leske, Mariah Strong, Timothy Droog, and Benjamin (Nicole) Droog. Her grandchildren: Codi and Tristan Strong, Westley Arihood, Zerenity Smith, and Shelby Leske.  Her brothers: Paul Leske and Mark (Mary) Leske.

She is preceded in death by her parents Lorriane and Allen Leske, her grandparents; Clayton and Edna Gartner, Helen and Arnold Neidfeldt and her best friend in crime, Lynn Bailey.

Her celebration of life gathering will be held from Noon to 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 10th, 2023 at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason Street, Onalaska.  Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.



  1. David Balts

    You will be missed Joan. My condolences to her family and loved ones.

    • Roberta Korish (Bernd)

      My condolences to the family. Joanne, as we called her in school. will be missed.

  2. Joanne Butterfield Hanson

    Sorry for your loss. She will be missed. I know her family will be so sad. Prayers for the family.

  3. Karen Ruege

    To Josh and family, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Joan. I worked with her at the bus company and she could really help me through rough times. I was going thru some major life changing things and she could always tell when i needed someone to just listen to me and hear me out, then she would give both friendly and motherly advice. She always would follow up with me to make sure I was ok. I will miss her. She was an amazing person who will not be forgotten.

  4. Gloria

    My condolences to the family. May the LORD grant her soul eternal peace. I miss you Jo. Working with you was fun.


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