Joan B. Ewinger died peacefully on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at the Danville Care Center, Danville, Iowa. She was nearly 94. Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel of Mt. Pleasant, IA, assisted the family with the arrangements.
Joan was born on September 18, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of William and Florence Kann and the sister of Bill Kann, who predeceased her. She was a precocious girl and an excellent student. When she was 12, she received a serious head injury when she was hit by a car while riding her bike. Brain surgery was not as advanced in 1938 as it is today. It is a miracle that Joan survived. She had to relearn to walk, talk, dress and feed herself. The recovery took almost a year.
Joan persevered and graduated from Main South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. She went on to Coe and McMurray Colleges and graduated with a bachelors degree to become a teacher. She was working in Peoria, Illinois when she and friends went to a dance. There she met Roger Ewinger, who was studying at Bradley University on the GI Plan after WWII. They married in 1950.
Their first year of marriage was spent camping and traveling. They went across the U.S., even north through Alaska on the Alkan Highway. They eventually settled temporarily in Palo Alto, California. They also traveled in Mexico.
Joan and Roger returned after that year to Roger’s farm north of New London, Iowa. There, the city girl became a farm wife. They had 3 children in swift succession: Curt R. Ewinger who died in 2010, survived by wife Susie of Choteau, Montana; Nancy E. Foltz of Belmont, North Carolina, married to Richard Kleinmann; and Scott Ewinger of Danville.
About 12 years after the children were born, the family took months long camping trips to the western U.S. and Canada. They visited near every National Park, but every trip made a stop in Yellowstone Park, where fly fishing was the main activity. Joan proudly caught her first fish on a fly rod in the pristine waters there.
As Joan and Roger grew older, Roger stopped being a full time farmer. They began going to Port Isabel, Texas in the winters where they enjoyed warm weather and social activities with the other “Snow Birds”. Joan loved to read, play Scrabble, do crosswords, and play Bingo and bridge. She took daily walks. After Roger died, Joan stayed in Texas in the winters and returned to Iowa in the summers.
Joan’s greatest joy in life was in the time she spent with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. There were annual reunions at the farm, and a few family trips after Roger’s death (Yellowstone Park was a memorable one). Her grandchildren are Winston Ewinger of Missoula, Montana (wife Flanna and daughter Rory); Meredith Ewinger of Van Nuys, California (daughter Owen); Logan Foltz of Salt Lake City, Utah; Lisa Foltz of Charlotte, North Carolina; and Whitney Buchanan of Appleton, Wisconsin (husband John and sons Jack and Charlie).
Our family is scattered across the country, and we will have a private memorial at a later time. Joan’s ashes will be scattered at the places she loved on the farm, and in the small cemetery in Pleasant Grove, Iowa where there are headstones for Roger and Curt.
The family expresses its gratitude to the Danville Care Center employees who took such loving care of Joan, and to the Hospice nurses.
We respectfully request that no flowers or donations be sent. If you are so inclined, just say a little prayer for a life well lived.
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