Joni Bednar Perry

Joni Bednar Perry, age 58, passed away unexpectedly on November 6, 2023. Joni suffered a stroke on October 30th, and was progressing miraculously well after a neurosurgical procedure, but sadly, her recovery was not to continue. She experienced a downward turn on November 5th and passed away the following day, surrounded by her beloved family.


Joni was born in Camden, New Jersey, on September 17, 1965, to Joyce and Brian Bednar.  She moved to Mercer, Wisconsin, with her parents and sister in 1970. Joni graduated from Mercer High School in 1983. She married Tim Oestreich and had four children with him.  Joni and Tim split amicably. Several years later, Joni met Mike Perry, after Mike’s son and Joni’s daughter urged the two to go on a date. Joni and Mike quickly became inseparable and married in 2015. 

Joni was employed by Advanced Wellness & Physical Therapy in Marinette as an administrative assistant. She enjoyed her job and thought the world of her co-workers. Joni worked in health care for approximately 20 years. 

Joni loved life and lived it to the fullest. She loved to travel with her husband Mike, who was also her best friend, to their second home in Biloxi, Mississippi. Joni and Mike have many friends in Biloxi, and she enjoyed spending time with them. Joni and Mike also enjoyed traveling throughout the country to watch their granddaughter, Aspyn, compete in barrel racing events, including national championships. Joni loved to play the dice game Farkle with Mike and other family members, and took great joy in relieving them of their money. She kept her bag of quarters and dollars near her chair, always ready for a mean game.

An owner of Stargazer Boarding Stables, Joni loved her horses and her precious barn family.  She loved working at the farm and enjoyed hosting barn events with her husband and daughter, Casey, as well as other family members and dear friends. Joni was an accomplished deer hunter and always looked forward to deer season. She enjoyed “roughing it” in the luxurious, heated deer stand that she shared with Mike. Joni was an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and rarely missed a game.  Joni cherished the women in her Strong Women class, and was so grateful for their supportive texts and prayers during her hospital stay.

Joni was the backbone of her family. She was a selfless individual, and was always available to help her family and her many friends. She would happily stop what she was doing to help a friend, at the drop of a hat. Joni’s last selfless act was as an organ donor.  She was vocal throughout her life about her desire to donate her organs when it was her time, so that others might live.  Several people received organ gifts from Joni, in accordance with her wishes.

Joni is survived by her beloved husband of 8 years, Mike Perry, of Peshtigo, Wisconsin;  son Ryan Oestreich (Brittney) of Wausaukee, Wisconsin; daughter Casey Oestreich of Peshtigo, Wisconsin; son Shawn Oestreich (Morgan) of Suamico, Wisconsin; son Timmy Oestreich of Marinette, Wisconsin; son Michael Perry II (Eileen) of Chicago, Illinois; son Scott Perry (Kelly) of Suamico, Wisconsin; daughter Carrie Brazeau (Richard) of Coleman, Wisconsin; son Dan Perry (Melissa) of Coleman, Wisconsin; mother Joyce Bednar Young (Jack) of Minocqua, Wisconsin; sister Jodie Bednar-Clemens (Eddy) of Springstead, Wisconsin; twenty-four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; an aunt, uncle, cousins, and many, many dear friends. Joni was preceded in death by her father, Brian Bednar; Uncle Jeff; her grandparents; aunts and uncles; and one of her very favorite people, her father-in-law, Grandpa Alvin Perry.

Joni was always positive, always confident. She never gave up on anything or anyone. No matter how difficult a situation, she remained optimistic. She was a loyal, true friend. She had an incredible work ethic and an unsurpassed sense of humor. No matter the situation, she would have a hilarious comment to offer.

 All of us who knew and loved Joni are devastated at her passing. She meant so much to us, and her untimely death represents a tragic loss. The late Queen Elizabeth once said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” That sentiment so accurately describes our feelings at this time.  Our hearts are broken. We will think of Joni every day and miss her forever. Her passing leaves a huge void in our lives and causes unimaginable pain. Yet, we know that Joni would want us to remember her with good thoughts. She would want us to remember her as she was - happy and full of a zest for life. She would want us to remember all of the good times, and she would want us to smile, not cry, at those memories. She would want us to celebrate her life, and not mourn it. We can almost hear her say these words:

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one. I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when day is gone. I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,of happy times, and laughing times, and bright and sunny days. I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun, of happy memories that I leave when my life is done.

Berth and Rosenthal Funeral Home, Peshtigo, Wisconsin, is in charge of arrangements.  A visitation for Joni’s friends and family will take place on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at Berth and Rosenthal Funeral Home from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, immediately followed by funeral services. Following the services, friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life for Joni, including a luncheon, at Stargazer Boarding Stables - W2260 Sequin Road, Marinette, Wisconsin.


In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Joni’s memory to her great passion – Stargazer Boarding Stables. Contributions to Stargazer Boarding Stables will help to continue her work and keep her dreams alive for all of the people and horses who benefit from the facility.



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