Joan E. Heissel, 88, of Le Mars, Iowa passed away on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Society in Le Mars. Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at All Saints Catholic Parish – St. James Church in Le Mars. Father Bruce Lawler will celebrate Mass. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation with the family present will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 16, 2019 at the Mauer – Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars. There will be a Catholic Daughters Rosary at 5:00 p.m. and a Scriptural Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will resume at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Church.
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Joan Ellen Clifford was born on April 28, 1931 in Canton, South Dakota, the daughter of George and Ellen (Brazzell) Clifford. She was raised in Canton and graduated from Canton High School. Joan moved to Le Mars, Iowa in the early 50’s and took a position as a telephone operator.
On August 20, 1953, Joan and Francis “Fritz” Heissel were united in marriage in Canton at St. Chrysostom Catholic Church. They made their home in Le Mars where Joan was a homemaker. In the early 70’s, Joan started TLC Daycare in her home. She cared for countless children until retiring in 2005. Joan moved to the Good Samaritan Society in Le Mars on June 18, 2015.
Joan was an active member of All Saints Catholic Parish – St. James Church in Le Mars. She was a member of Catholic Daughters of the Americas and was the Sunday School coordinator for over 30 years. She and Fritz also assisted with the Gehlen Ball for many years. In earlier years, she belonged to the Le Mars Fire Department Auxiliary, Fire Bells. She and Fritz enjoyed playing in a card club and Joan participated in ceramics and a knitting club, even though they never knitted a thing. One of her favorite pastimes was going to garage sales on Saturday mornings with her sister Mary. She received the Iowa Volunteer of the Year Award from Governor Terry Branstad.
Joan was a fantastic cook and, along with her family, everyone was welcome in her home. Even though she lived her entire married life in Iowa, South Dakota was always in her heart. She spoke often of her childhood and her family growing up in Canton.
Grateful to have shared her life are her children, Dr. Kris (Steve) Melloy of Loveland, CO, Jeff (Laura) Heissel of Arlington Heights, IL, Becky (Bud) Bates of Le Mars, IA, Lori (Mike) Rogan of Dubuque, IA, Kim (Jay) Becker, Kevin (Connie) Heissel, Jackie (Joe) Clarey, Pat (Cheri) Heissel, Nikki (Joel) Johnson, B.J. (Kerri Hoffman) Heissel all of Le Mars, IA; grandchildren, Jaclyn (Justin) Hone, Allison (Brad) McAllister, Eric Heissel, Ryan (fiancé, Ashley Collins) Bates, Elizabeth Bates, Alex (Alyx) Rogan, Kacie (Jared) Schmit, Kelli (Brad) Matt, Matt (Amanda Brock) Becker, Ashley (Kevin) Corkery, Carissa (Karl) Warner, Tyler (Andrew Wojtek) Clarey, Zachary Clarey, Cole (Jackie) Heissel, Megan (Ty Schoellerman) Heissel, Jacob (Shelby) Johnson, Madelyn Johnson, Jack Johnson, Brooklyn Heissel, Beau Heissel, Carter Heissel, Lance (Christine) Eddie; great-grandchildren, Gage and Nash Rogan, Cohen Schmit, Lucy and Leo Matt, Ryley Reinke, Laikyn and Kolton Warner, Harrison and Bennett Corkery, Owen Clarey, Emery Jo Heissel, Jayce Johnson, Nash, Sloane and Klein Eddie; brothers, Jerry (Darlene) Clifford of Murrieta, CA, Ronald (Linda) Clifford of Rip Rancho, NM; a sister, Patty Clifford of Sioux Falls, SD; sisters-in-law, Ruth Clifford of Avilla, IN and Jan Heissel of Storm Lake, IA; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Fritz on July 13, 2005; her infant children, Timothy, Regan, Molly and Bridget; grandchildren, Kaitelin Clarey, Joshua Johnson and Jamie Bates; sisters, Colleen Clifford, Mary (Dale) Zimmerman, Marjorie (Steve) Guidici and Delores (Romaine) Ulrichson; brothers, George, Dennis, John, Charles and Joseph (Celinie); and several in-laws.
Memorials may be directed to All Saints Catholic Parish or the Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars.