Joan Margaret (Walch) Ekiss

Born: Fri., Dec. 3, 1937
Died: Wed., Mar. 9, 2016


1:30 PM to 2:30 PM, Sat., Mar. 12, 2016
Location: Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home- Nokomis Location

Funeral Service

2:30 PM Sat., Mar. 12, 2016
Location: Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home- Nokomis Location

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Joan Margret Ekiss, 78, of Mt Zion, IL, previously of Moweaqua, Pawnee, Irving, Witt and Chicago, passed away on March 9, 2016 at Heritage Manor Nursing Home.  Funeral service to be held at Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home in Nokomis, IL on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 2:30 and visitation will be 1:30 p.m.  until service time. Burial will be at Witt Cemetery.

Joan was born in Chicago, IL December 3, 1937, the daughter of John Robert Worthington and Iva (Peg) Coffey Worthington.

She is survived by three sons:  Ross (Dorothy) Walch of Hillsboro, IL, Darrell (Cheri) Walch of Champaign, IL, Jerry (Amy) Walch of Newman, IL.  Three Step daughters:  Sandy Norris of Niantic, IL, Pat  (Terry) Olroyd  of Hillsboro, IL,  Cheryl (FD) Smith of Long Creek, IL.  One step son:   Jerry Ekiss of Springfield; eight grandchildren,   four step grandchildren, six great grandchildren, seven great step grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by parents, husband Leroy Glenn Walch (1969) and husband Wayne Lester Ekiss (2006), and one grandchild.

Joan was a homemaker, farmer’s wife, teacher, Amusement Businesswoman, and Librarian.  She was Valedictorian of her high school class at Witt, earned a Teaching Certificate from Greenville College and Masters of Librarian Science from Eastern Illinois University.   She enjoyed sewing, quilting, cross stitch, and crocheting. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Girard Library, Moweaqua Library, Moweaqua Ambulance, or Witt Museum

Joan Margret Ekiss was born December 3, 1937 in Chicago, IL.   She mentions taking piano lessons, but did not own a piano in Chicago.  Her lessons were done on a piece of card board with the keys marked on it.   Her parent with their only child moved back to Witt in mid 1940s.   Witt is where both her parents were raised.

 She graduated from Witt high school in 1955 Valedictorian of her class. Mrs. Lipe was one of her Teachers.  Joan was the accompanist for the men’s and women’s choir.   It was her way to get out of PE at the time.

She married Leroy Walch in 1955, and became a Farmer’s wife and homemaker.  They started farming and lived in Donnellson.  Mrs. Lipe (her teacher) called her and asked if they wanted to farm the Lipe farm in Witt.  The Lipe farm ground was just south of Witt in late 1950.  She gave birth to her three children, Ross, Darrell, and Jerry there.   Leroy died in a tragic car accident in February 1969.  She  then started commuting to Greenville College while a single parent and Graduated in 197X.   In her sewing desk there were itemized list of her alterations:   in 1967 she replaced a zipper for $0.25 for  Grace and  made two skirts for Marilyn  for $1.50 ( for both)   the list goes on and on…….It also has sizes (measurements) for most of the people she did  sewing and altering for.   You could call the note books priceless. 

She later remarried to Wayne Ekiss in December to in 1972. They lived in Irving.  Again she took on the role of farmer’s wife and homemaker.  They had Horse Drawn Amusement Business.  She enjoyed visiting with the people while doing the pony rides.   (Not sure she really enjoyed doing the actual work with the ponies)  She also taught and substituted in the area and then continued her education by commuting to EIU in Charleston for her Masters of Library Science graduating in 1990.  After selling the Horse drawn Amusement Business in 1991, Wayne and Joan moved to Pawnee.  She was the Library and Art Director at the Springfield Art Museum few years.  She later took over the Head Librarian duties at Girard Township Library from 1998 to 2008.  She loved helping people find books for them to read.   She decided to have a winter wonderland at the library for a fund raiser one year and   that was how her Christmas tree decorating s got started.   She said she had over 25 full size trees that first year.    

Following Wayne’s death April 5, 2006, she moved to Moweaqua in 2009.  This just happened to be a town the moving van broke down in when her and her parents moved from Chicago in mid 1940s.   When one would stop and visit, she would not want to be torn away from her project at the time.  It may be the neighbor‘s little project or a quilt for one of her grandkids or great grandkids.   Her love for books continued too.  It can be seen by the number of book CASES she continued to overflow.  If someone wanted a book, author, she would find a book for them when they visited.  Her love for Christmas trees grew, She had over 16 trees set up (over 10 full size one).   Even though the house was smaller than any she’d lived in last 30 years she always found a place to put another one up.  She even had a four foot tree that was lit year round……decorated for that time of year.   Christmas, winter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, spring, 4th of July, Summer, Fall, Thanksgiving, and back to Christmas.   The bags and totes of decorations have been a bone of contention between her and her sons of late.  Like her books and fabrics, the collection was forever growing.      

Not sure when her love for penguins began, but oh how it did! The living room of her home was affectionately known as the penguin room. She even had a Christmas tree decorated in just penguins.   She begged regularly for someone to bring her more of her penguins to the small nursing room.    The painting and prints of framed penguins fill multiple totes.

She fell and broke her hip in 2005.  She spent several weeks in rehab while her husband Wayne was struggling in a different rehab home. 

She had a congestive heart failure episode in 2007 where she spent a week in the hospital.   She pushed herself to be home alone again.

She had her right knee replaced in 2010.  After spending a month in rehab she was again able to be home alone.

She had her left knee replaced in 2012.  Again after spending a month in rehab, she was able to be home alone.

She had another congestive heart failure episode in 2013.  She spent a week in the hospital and another month in a rehab program.

In Oct. of 2015 she agreed to be put on a waiting list for an assisting living.  Before an apartment became available, her heart could not keep up after a family Christmas dinner.

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