A Tribute To Joan Mondale

The Minnesota community paid tribute to Joan Mondale yesterday in a wonderful funeral at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis. The musicians, some from the Minnesota Orchestra, and the superb choir provided a beautiful musical background for the service. Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn, Bach, Stravinsky, and Vaughan Williams wrote the music played in this celebration of a noted patron of the arts. She was, after all, known as Joan of Arts. 

Rochelle Olson wrote a wonderful account of the ceremony in the Star Tribune here that reports on what people said. Jimmy Carter was perfect. 

I attended the funeral with my friend Jay Swanson and his wife Ellen Dahl. Jay was  kind enough to drive. I ended up seated next to Minnesota State Senator Terri Bonoff and her husband Matthew Knopf.  We shared a hymnal.  Matthew and Jay are lawyers and are Dorsey Whitney partners, where Walter Mondale has been working for the last decade or so.

I had the distinct pleasure of knowing Joan Mondale, who actually lived for several years down the street on James Avenue.  In one memorable discussion of cooking and spices,  I found myself advocating for Tellicherry Black Pepper as the superb spice.  I think I used the term “piquant” to describe it. Joan was not so sure, so I went to my stash of Tellicherry, ground some fresh, and delivered it to her home. She was very gracious about the gift.

I am honored to know and count the Mondales as friends and neighbors. Ted was a law school friend and is running the local Stadium Commission. From all accounts given yesterday, Joan was the charming and talented equal partner in this dynamic family.