Joan Heddens, 82, of Marshalltown, IA, passed away Thursday, September 3, 2020, at the Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, IA. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 26, 2020 at First Congregational Church in Marshalltown. We all loved the beauty of Riverside, and Joan shared how pleased she was to contribute after the terrible storm losses. In lieu of flowers per her wishes, may your memoriam be contributed to the Riverside Cemetery Recovery fund. Anderson Funeral Homes have been entrusted with these arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.andersonfhs.com.
Joan was born July, 26, 1938, to Homer Kearnaghan a Kraft foods farm advisor, and Vernette, a Piano and music teacher. As a family they relocated to the homestead where her grandparents had built in Mt. Carroll. Quite unique, they had a beautiful farm acreage just a short cobblestone walk to the courthouse square replete with a music bandstand and goldfish filled fountain. Growing up, she was the happiest racing her pony down their lane or playing in their big red barn. Joan was a town favorite, known for greeting everyone with her big smile and bouncing blond curls. She loved music, and most of all bringing fun and laughter to every event. She was soon picked for the PEP squad, Varsity cheer leading team, drama club, chorus, and played trumpet for the jazz and marching band. Few knew she was always hiding something she was secretly embarrassed about. Joan was born with a small mitt for a left hand with only a thumb and a full pinkie finger, doctors were able to separate it into three small fingers that stopped just short of her knuckles. Despite this handicap, she was a skilled trumpet player, pianist and typist. She overcame her disability with flare, but her skills of hiding it were so good, many in her life never even noticed. Nothing would ever hold back this irrepressible spirit. She led slumber parties of girls with their hands dramatically stuck out like zombies down main street pretending to sleepwalk, or she and her giggling friends would kick hay from the barn rafters onto the sheep judges at 4H events. Happiest watching movie musicals and reenacting the singing and dancing, she chose to fulfill her dreams as a drama major at Wesleyan college in Bloomington and joined a sorority. She longed for big city life, and soon found a roommate, a flat and work as a fashion merchandiser for Marshall Fields. She was in heaven on earth, loving her life. She went on a whirlwind of dates and was asked to set up a young man with her friend. When that fell thru, she happily filled in for the date instead. She immediately knew she felt completely different about this good-looking young Podiatry student. They discovered they were both Methodists and have invited her to church the next morning. She found him a little quiet, he found her a little loud, but it appears they both knew right away that this was their destiny. Let me introduce you to newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Joan Heddens! Opening a Podiatric foot clinic in Bettendorf by 1966 they were Marshalltown bound, and opened up their Foot Clinic downtown. Joan immersed herself in volunteering and found themselves a fun-loving group of lifelong friends. Raising their kids in a roomy West Main Street home, she soon invested herself into Marshalltown. Known for her sound judgment, strong commonsense, and fair-mindedness, her opinions were valued. She was soon selected to serve with the Assistance league, P.E.O, the Country Club Charity Balls, and played competitively on the Elmwood tennis team. She was happiest gathered with friends and they all shared one VERY important bond: they loved to laugh! Not driven by ego, her open heart knit many politically and spiritually diverse friends together. She nurtured her love of the arts by helping organize and secure talent for the Martha Ellen Tye Gala performance. She somehow convinced reticent businessmen, doctors and lawyers to volunteer for the singing and dancing number to fund raise. She secretly debuted as her favorite character memorialized by Carol Burnette, the Mop Woman! Her appearance was met with surprised peals of laughter and recognition from those who knew her. Once their kids graduated, she wanted to connect with the town even more, and worked as the greeter/receptionist at Brenton Bank. She loved it, and soon became the Bank's event's organizer for the Marshalltown parade. She choreographed a musical umbrella routine with the bankers cheerfully twirling their umbrellas in sync. Her creativity did not stop there.
Very Mischievous, Joan anonymously hosted a Valentines party at a local restaurant. The heart shaped invite was filled with only the initials of the invited couples, with no return address. The guest were delighted sleuthing out the guest list and the host. Once Jim sold the podiatry foot clinic, they kept their roots in beloved Marshalltown, but wintered in Sanibel FL, and traveled to Europe, California, and the Caribbean islands. Joan and Jim found a cadre of neighbors, PEO bridge buddies and friends who flew down to gather for wine and sunsets on the beach. You never knew when she would spontaneously just belt out the song, "I Love Life". She never could abide being dull and boring, and her 11 grandkids have carried on her passions. She begets dancers, drama students, teachers, pianists, marching band players, tennis players, singers, business women, and those with her fits of gathering and entertaining friends. Three years ago, during a brief but critical hospitalization, Joan had a surprising vision of Jesus hovering over her hospital bed. Although she went to church, she hadn't considered herself very a religious person. She felt enveloped in the perfect peace and love of the Lord in those movements and grew a new faith and tremendous peace at time of death. The past several years she weekly dined with friends, played bridge, and pontoon to Florida's bay side restaurants. Her unexpected journey into her forever life brought her only one day to say her goodbyes to family. She whispered: "Don't be sad, I have faith and peace, because I know Jesus is waiting for me. I found he's always been with me." She was blessed to have her husband and son by her side and family on the phone, as she peacefully entered her abundant new life. It seemed surreal that as we discovered her heart was beginning to fail, we heard that tropical storm "Nana" was brewing in the tropics. It felt reassuring that the heavens appeared to be swirling in anticipation of the arrival of our own Nana. Some of us phoned in our 4 a.m. final words of love toher, as we sang to her. We stayed up to watch the sunrise, and looked up in awe to see a glowing halo appear around the full moon. We discovered this particular September moon only occurs every three years, called the "Corn Moon". It felt like a powerful tribute from the "Tall Corn State" that her farewell was in God's perfect timing. We honor her life of light, love, and most of all, her gift to us all of her joyous irrepressible laughter.
She is survived by the absolute love of her life, her husband of 61 wild and wonderful years, Jim, or as she affectionately called him, "Dovey". Her daughters, son and grandchildren miss her terribly, and although they live far and wide, they are close in heart. The eldest, Jennifer (Steve) Cochrane and their children Brittany (Jon) McDorman, Gray (daughter Caroline), Jamie and Skylar from Richmand, VA. Her only son Dave - who shared his Mom's great passion for Iowa college basketball and football. Dave's close knit children Bridget, Natalie (Cory) Taylor, Ross and Carried all thrive near Denver Colorado. Holly (Tim) Hanson, and their kids Caitlin, Chase, and Tyler from Sammamish, WA. Joan leaves behind her great friend and older brother Pat (Joan) Kernaghan, a legion of friends in Marshalltown and Sanibel, Florida. She is preceded by her parents, and her younger brother Doug Kearnaghan.
Joan always had an inappropriate gift for every occasion
Doug & I feel honored to have met Joan and spend time with her. A truly vibrant and witty woman. We really enjoyed getting to know her better reading the wonderful ly written eulogy. What a beautiful life she had. Our hearts go out to Jim and the family.
What a beautiful tribute! I loved reading it and could picture her smile and laugh! Joanie was such a good friend to my dad over the years and my dad and my family enjoyed our visit to Sanibel just 4 years ago. I remember one of my favorite memories my mom told me was of she and Joanie walking down the street in Chicago and receiving whistles from some workers... only when they turned around and were both pregnant... did the workers get a surprise!
My heartfelt condolences to Jim and family. She will be missed.
After the loss of my husband this March, Joan and Jim have been such supportive friends. Though she was on oxygen, she worked in the kitchen with Jim to have delicious dinners inviting me over to enjoy...a real treat, believe me. I shall miss her in so many other ways, as she always loved to send "the smile of the day" to cheer all of us that were in "lock-down." We did manage a few bridge games with PEO pals, always a laugh a minute, on their screened-in porch watching the wildlife in the large pond next to them...before the virus came, a Friday afternoon regular. She loved to read and always shared her books when finished. Her generous spirit reflected in the unexpected gift of a purse admired, etc., etc. Oh, Joan, you will always be irreplaceable in our hearts and we will mourn your good humor and caring heart. May God bless your loving family, as their loss is Heaven's gain. Elise Hall
This is a memorial from both Pat and Joan Kearnaghan.
At this time in our lives, we must be prepared for the loss of some special people. First was Pat and Joan’s brother, Douglas. That was a major shock as he was the youngest of the three Kearnaghan kids. Then, there was Joan’s only sister, Ginny. Now, we have said good-bye to Joan Vernette Kearnaghan Heddens, and the oldest Kearnaghan kid, Pat, has been left behind.
Over the last nearly 60 years, Joan and Jim have been our very best life-long friends. From the time that we were four young people living in Chicago and starting out our adult lives, we have been close. When Pat and Joan (Bolin) met, and began to know each other, Pat introduced his sister, Joan (Heddens), to his future wife. About the same time, we both met Jennifer who was about a year old. It was a bit confusing that Pat chose to marry another Joan, so he called his wife “Sweetie Pie” and rarely called her “Joan.” This was probably because nobody could take his sister’s place in his heart. Those were lean times for all of us, but especially for Joan and Jim as they already had started their family.
After our marriage ceremony, Pat’s sister, Joan, burst into tears and that set us all off. Even Doug, who was 18 and served as best man, cried. Obviously, it was a very emotional
Joan and Jim had another baby, David, and then moved to Iowa. We moved to Bloomington, Illinois, but we still got together at the Kearnaghan homestead in Mt. Carroll. Then, our son Brian was born, and we could not spend a lot of time with the Heddens. I do remember visiting them in Bettendorf, IA before they moved to Marshalltown. We moved to Indianapolis, and the Heddens came for the 500 Mile Race. There were more trips to Mt. Carroll when we gathered for some fun get togethers. Joan was always the life of the party!!
We moved to Jackson, Mississippi, and from there got a babysitter for the kids so we could go to New Orleans. Also, there was a trip to Disneyworld with all the cousins. Despite living a good distance apart, we were able to keep our families together. We spent time at Lake Okobogi and Joan was a super hostess. We took trips to London and Paris, a river cruise up the Rhine and Moselle Rivers.
Over-all of these years, Joan was a great cook, and loads of laughs. She was proud of her 11 grandchildren. She loved each of them. Joan is probably the reason we have ended our lives in Ft. Myers, Florida. She convinced Pat that we needed to be this far south to buy a snowbird get-away place. Over the past 12 years, we have been able to see Joan and Jim frequently and we knew that she did not feel well much of the time. But, she was always ready to get together for some wine and hors d’oeuvres or dinner out. She kept her sense of humor through all the problems of ill health.
We will have a hard time getting over her loss.
Joan was a dear friend that I will miss and never forget.
Everytime we went anywhere with Joan she was greeted warmly by many friends. We all enjoyed her greatly. Love Jack and Donnis
everytime we went anywhere with Joan, she was greeted warmly by many friends. We all enjoyed her greatly, Love Jack
So sorry to hear this news. Sympathies to the family.
We will miss Joan at our Sanibel Stars meetings. She was always so upbeat, even when she was on oxygen. May wonderful memories help the family through this sad time.
I am so sorry -Joan was such care free and fun loving lady. So many great memories with the Heddens and Squiers family. She will be missed and I know my parents have lost a very close and lifelong friend.
My Sympathies to Jim and the entire family. Many prayers to all.
So many memories of working with Joan at Brenton Bank. One of my favorites is marching in the Octemberfest parades with our Brenton Briefcase Brigade under Joan’s direction. Every time I hear Dolly Parton sing Nine to Five it reminds me of marching to it. Heaven gained a crazy angel!
Dear Heddens Family,
So sorry to hear of your loss. I sure enjoyed your mom back in our Brenton Bank days. We had such fun together. Joan was the life of the party. The team of Joan and Judy often kept the bank in stitches. Heaven is surely having a party with Joan’s arrival. Joan was one of a kind. Lynne Kock
Uncle Jim, and all of family so sorry to here about Joan, Pat sent me a message about the news! Will be praying for you and family to help you get threw this difficult time. From your nephew David R Heddens
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