Joel B. McMaster

Joel B. McMaster
Date of Birth: September 06, 1971
Died on: February 10, 2018

Aberdeen, SD-Prayer service for Joel Brian McMaster, 46, of Aberdeen will be 6:00 pm, Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at New Life Fellowship, 619 8th Ave NW in Aberdeen. Pastor Rodney Johnson will officiate.

Joel passed away Saturday, February 10, 2018 at Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center after a seven-year battle with cancer.

Joel was born September 6, 1971. He was raised in Moorhead and graduated Moorhead high school in 1989. He was an indifferent student and social butterfly, who charmed everyone he encountered. After graduation he worked at Sun Valley Products, where he met his future wife Danelle Cossette. They married in 1994. After settling into married life he picked up new hobbies, including ping pong, martial arts, distance running, camping, tree climbing, scuba diving, motocross, auto racing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, diving, and so many others we’ve lost track. He was never one to sit still. They loved to travel, both locally and to the beaches of Mexico. He talked to everyone, everywhere, about everything.

Joel and Danelle had two children, Riley and Olivia, and they became his favorite fellow adventurers. From somersaults off the roof to snorkeling the coral reefs, he loved having them as partners in his wild adventures. His greatest accomplishment was being a dad, and he cherished every minute with his kids. He taught them to be brave and kind, and they are.

After becoming a family man, he looked at new career options. Firefighter was the least dangerous job on his wish list, so he completed EMT training at FM Ambulance. In 2004 he became a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Aberdeen Fire Department. He found the paramedic component of his job so rewarding, he completed a nursing degree at Presentation College and took a second job as an ER nurse at Sanford Hospital in Aberdeen. He was a gifted caregiver who saved many lives.

In 2011 he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Cancer robbed him of the ability to be his active self, a devastating blow to such a gifted athlete. He endured numerous surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation so that he could have more time with his family. Our only comfort in his death is knowing he no longer feels pain.

He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Danelle and children, Riley and Olivia all of Aberdeen; parents, John and Donna of Moorhead; sister, Darcy of Minneapolis and cherished friends, Bev and Arne Svarstad of Aberdeen. He found peace in fellowship at New Life Church.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, his uncle Brian, and his beloved in-laws, Andy and Donna Cossette.

His family is grateful to his dedicated and caring doctors and nurses at Sanford, Mayo Clinic, and Avera for their kindness and hard work these past six years.

Please, go get a colonoscopy.

Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with arrangements.


  1. Char Schaffer says:

    Dear McMaster family:
    It is with heavy heart that I express my condolences for the loss of your husband and father. I met Joel through Bev and Arne Svarstad. I am one of the daughters who was born and raised on the farm Joel took such good care of. You could see and feel the peace of living on the farm gave Joel during his most unfortunate journey. We had three great years with Joel on the farm. He had such a high respect for the legacy that my mom and dad left behind. He took such pride in taking great care of the farm. Whenever my sister and I came back to visit we would spend a few hours with him on the farm reminiscing about our life there. We would walk around the whole farm and go through the outbuildings and he would show us some things that he had come across that he was so intrigued by that he knew meant a lot to Dad. Heaven has gained an incredibly gifted man gave so much during his time on earth. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  2. Sharon & Don Stauss says:

    Dear family of Joel McMaster…. our hearts are saddened by the loss of your husband and father. We came to know joel through Arne & Bev and have loved to visit Joel at the home we formerly grew up on. He loved the farm and fresh country air and they were the perfect fit. Praying for all of you at this time and we take comfort in knowing he is with Jesus and free of pain.

  3. Sister Ruth Geraets says:

    Dear Danelle, Riley, Olivia and family,
    I am so saddened to hear of your loss. Hopefully you can carry his spirit with you as you continue to carry out his legacy of care and compassion for others, so evident in his choice of nursing and firefighting.
    Much love and prayer,
    Sister Ruth Geraets

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