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Joan Patricia  Kirkwood

Memorial for Joan Patricia Kirkwood

Born in Minneapolis, MN on Mar. 10, 1923
Departed on Jan. 27, 2017 and resided in Peoria, IL.

Joan Patricia Kirkwood, age 93, of Peoria, passed away on Friday, January 27, 2017 at Christian Buehler Home in Peoria.

Joan was born on March 10, 1923 in Minneapolis, MN to Wilfred and Naomi (Noreen) Garry. She married William B. Kirkwood on April 22, 1950 in Minneapolis. He preceded her in death in July of 2010. Also preceding her in death are her parents; two children, Patricia Sparks and Thomas Kirkwood; her brother, John Garry; and her sister, Norine Nims.

Surviving are her son, William (Lee) Kirkwood of Johnson City, TN; her son-in-law, Richard Sparks of Morton, IL; her grandchildren, Brent Sparks, Susan (Andrew) Ward, Stephanie (EJ) Farrell, and Elizabeth Kirkwood; her great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Henry Ward and Bennett Farrell; her niece, Barbara Gilbertson; and her nephews, Garry Nims, John Garry, Jr., William Garry and Robert Gary.

Joan attended North Dakota State for one year and then completed secretarial training in business school. She worked as a secretary for several businesses and for Mayflower Congregational Church in Minneapolis. She was a Yoeman 3rd Class in the Navy WAVES during World War II and was thus part of the entry of women into the armed services.

Upon moving to Peoria in 1956, she soon became active in the newly formed Peoria Association for Retarded Children (now EP!C.) This largely parent-led organization served developmentally disabled children and their families at a time when such disabilities carried enormous social stigma.

In later years she found great satisfaction in working as an "Avon Lady," enjoying her visits to the residents of Christian Buehler Home, where she and her husband resided in their retirement. Joan was a devoted wife and mother, especially to her son, Tom, who was severely developmentally disabled.

The family would like to thank the staff of Christian Buehler Home for the excellent care Joan received in the nursing wing during her last few years of life.
Cremation rites will be accorded and Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to EP!C of Peoria.

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