Joan Y. Edwards, 88, of Chatham passed away surrounded by family at 6:49 pm, Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at Heritage Health. She was born December 5, 1929 in Mt. Auburn to Joseph and Ethel (Younker) Miller. She met James L. Edwards while attending Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and they were married April 20, 1951.
Joan is preceded in death by her parents, husband and one brother, Dean Miller. She is survived by daughters: Jill (James) Walch, of Chatham, JoLee Edwards and Jamie Edwards, both of Springfield, and sons: James “Sam” Edwards of Dayton, OH, and John (Stacey) Edwards of Quincy. Also surviving are her sister Faye Skaggs of Pawnee, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
For close to 30 years our father led the family around the world while serving as a non-com in the U.S. Army. While Dad led, Mom provided the logistic support necessary to ensure all five of us kids, and our worldly possessions, made it from point A to point B. This process was repeated multiple times. First was Champaign-Urbana where JoLee, Jill and Jamie were born. Next was Colorado Springs where Sam joined the clan. Then to Germany where her favorite son John was introduced. After that the adventures continued in Yuma, Arizona, on to Germany for a second time, back stateside to the farm in Edinburg, Illinois, a short stint in Texas for the ”border incident”, then off to a glorious finale in Italy before settling in at ‘home’, central Illinois. During all of this Mom was the glue that held it all together — especially when Dad was stationed overseas in the Korean conflict and twice in Vietnam. While working full time as an RN or civil servant and managing the household, she found time to provide a warm, loving, fun-filled home for five uniquely challenging boys and girls. Throughout Dad’s military life our parents led us to places and allowed us to experience many of the world’s wonders that most people only dream of — highlights include camping and exploring the great southwest, cruises on the Rhine to watch a re-enactment of the historic Heidelberg castle burning, the joy and freedom of rural farm life, getting trapped in “Frankenstein’s” castle, quiet walks thru snow covered German forests, and many backyard family gatherings. We have so many cherished memories thanks to Mom and Dad.
Post military life did not mean slowing down, Mom continued to work full time with the IRS, retiring in 1994. She was a master at knitting, her hand-made afghans and sweaters are cherished reminders that will be held dear for generations. Her childhood years on the homestead in Edinburg came thru in her ‘from scratch’ home cooking, a pleasure that many friends and family will sorely miss. Her joy of reading, puzzle solving and gardening have been passed on to her children. The many days spent playing cards and board games around a kitchen table are times we now enjoy sharing with our own families.
Ever charitable, Mom was very active in several organizations. She was past Queen of Abeba Temple No.42, Daughters of the Nile; a 40 year member of Pawnee Chapter #436 Eastern Star, 2016 Grand Electa of the Order of the Eastern Star; and a charter member of Daughters of the American Revolution, William Penny Chapter.
Visitation for family, friends and admirers will be held at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield from 4-7 pm, Wednesday, November 28, 2018. An Eastern Star service will be held at 4:30 pm.
Funeral Services are scheduled for 11:30 am, Thursday, November 29, 2018 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield with Pastor Nicole Cox officiating. Burial services to follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery, where Joan will be interred with her husband Jim — their last duty station.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Shriners Children’s Hospital of St. Louis.
Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Time: 04:00 pm - 07:00 pm
An Eastern Star service will be held at 4:30 pm.
Date: Thursday, November 29, 2018
Shriners Children’s Hospital of St. Louis
4400 Clayton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
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