Joan E. Stevens, 71, of Gardner, Kan., passed away peacefully at the home on Friday, Aug. 18, 2006, after a year-long battle with cancer.
Joan was born in Fort Scott, Kan., to Edgar and Marian Butler on Feb. 27, 1935. She spent her early years at Deerfield, Mo., before attending high school at Nevada, Mo. After graduating from high school in 1953, Joan attended Pittsburg State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in the 1958.
While attending college in Pittsburg, Joan met and married Doyle Stevens on March 29, 1956, during Easter break. After finishing that school year, the couple then moved to Topeka, Kan., for one year, where their first child was born. They moved to Gardner in 1957 and have resided there ever since.
Joan dedicated much of her life to teaching and taught second grade for 24 years in the Olathe school district, 30 years at Washington Elementary and four years at Ridgeview Elementary. It always pleased her when former students would come up and say, "Do you remember me?" and she was able to find out what they had done since leaving her class. Her experience was invaluable when her daughter became a teacher and she was often called upon for advice and a sympathetic ear.
While free time was pretty scarce, Joan was active at the Olathe Christian Church for many years, teaching Vacation Bible School and as a member of the Evangelism Committee. She attended Antioch Baptist Church, Spring Hill, Kan., for the last 30 years where she was active in Sunday school. She was also faithful in visiting many elderly people in the community.
Joan is survived by her husband of 50 years, Doyle; children, Darrell Stevens, of Spring Hill, Kan., and Cherry Stevens, of Vassar, Kan.; three grandchildren who were a great source of pride and joy; and a brother, Edgar W. Butler, of Atchison, Kan.
Joan was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She will be greatly missed by those left behind, but we know she is free from her earthly diseased body and is enjoying her new heavenly body with the Lord.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 23, at Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., today at Bruce Funeral Home. Burial will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 24, at Fort Scott National Cemetery, Fort Scott, Kan.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Antioch Baptist Church or to Kansas City Hospice.