JoAnn Terrio Pernu passed away in the early hours of April 16, 2020 at home in Torrance, CA, in the presence of her husband and children. JoAnn was born August 15, 1933 to parents Eino and Mayme Terrio, in Mt. Iron, MN. She was the youngest of three sisters, following Evelyn (Hilmas) and Arlene (Bailey) and was preceded in death by her parents and both sisters. JoAnn was a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church and died peacefully, confident of her salvation.

JoAnn is survived by her husband of 65 years, Charles (Charlie) Pernu; 4 children, Chuck (Katie), Teri (Don), Mark (Kim) and Jane, 13 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren with number 14 expected in October.

JoAnn graduated from Mt. Iron High School in 1951 then attended Minnesota School of Laboratory Technique to study Medical Assistance and Phlebotomy. JoAnn and Charlie met in High School but did not become an item until after graduation and before Charlie joined the Army in 1951. When he shipped off to Germany, JoAnn indicated that they may not still be a couple when he returned. However, when Charlie did return from Germany two years later, they picked up where they left off and were married in September 1954.

Immediately after their honeymoon, JoAnn and Charlie moved to CA to take advantage of educational and housing opportunities provided by the GI Bill. There they joined many others in adding to the baby boom, expanding the suburbs, and contributing to a burgeoning aerospace industry. They initially rented a house in Inglewood near North American Aviation but soon purchased their own home in Torrance in 1956. After her children were all in school, JoAnn became an office manager in Dr. Al Kaino’s dentist office where her 2-month commitment was ultimately extended for 20 years.


A memorial service in Torrance will be scheduled in the fall when all is deemed safe. She will be interred in Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia, MN near the family cabin at Lake Leander. Taking a sauna (sow-na, not saw-na) at the lake was perhaps JoAnn’s second favorite thing - after spending time with her family. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in JoAnn’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association.


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