Joan M. Wiegreffe (nee Meyer), 85, of Waterloo, died peacefully the morning of Jan. 1, 2022, after a courageous fight against cancer. She was born on July 24, 1936, in Belleville, to Milton and Dorothy (nee Germain) Meyer and was known as an independent, charismatic woman with a great love for family and friends, as well as for helping others.
Joan graduated Belleville West High School in 1954 and married the love of her life, Charles “Charlie” Wiegreffe, in May of 1955. They had a daughter, Barbara Anne (nee Wiegreffe) Gerstenecker in 1959. Joan lived in Belleville her entire life before moving to Waterloo with Charlie in 1997 to be closer to their daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters.
Throughout her life, Joan enjoyed holding roles that encouraged her to learn, including those at Mager Supply, WIBV Radio and Dugan and Carls Radiology. Joan also held a part-time role serving the St. Paul Evangelical Burial Park, a job from which she recently retired in December of 2020. In addition, she was part of several volunteer and community organizations, including Relay for Life, a breast cancer survivor group and Senior Health Insurance Program. Always outgoing, she made lifelong friends at each job and group she joined.
Beyond her work, Joan enjoyed reading books, watching movies, sewing, and traveling. A lover of the outdoors and nature, gardening was another favorite pastime. She also gathered with friends often to play cards.
But her favorite thing to do was spend time with family. And if she wasn’t with them, she was proudly boasting about them to anyone who would listen. She enjoyed taking her granddaughters Kara (nee Gerstenecker) Schmid and Alyssa Gerstenecker on adventures and loved being “Grandma J.” This past year, her favorite moments were those spent with her new great-grandson, Joseph D. Schmid, who she called “Baby J.”
Joan will be fondly remembered by all for her resilience, her independence, and – most importantly – her ability to love, always.
Joan was a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Waterloo.
Surviving are her daughter Barbara A. (Darryl) Gerstenecker of Columbia; grandchildren, Kara (Joe) Schmid and Alyssa Gerstenecker; great-grandson Joseph “Baby J” Schmid; sister Nancy Baldus of O’Fallon; special niece Pam (Dennis) Jenkins; other nieces; nephews; cousins; and special cousin Jane Meredith of Bloomington.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles T. Wiegreffe; parents Milton and Dorothy (nee Germain) Meyer; and brother-in-law Don Baldus.
Visitation will be 2-5 p.m. Jan. 7 at Kurrus Funeral Home, in Belleville.
COVID-19 restrictions will be followed, masks required and social distancing.
A funeral service will follow at the funeral home with Pastor Jeff McCarn officiating.
Private family interment will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to St. Paul United Church of Christ in Waterloo; or Breast Cancer Research Fund at give.berf.org.