Joan Curtis (Hersey) Meyer, 84, Taylorville, passed away at 10:55 pm on September 7, at St. John’s Hospital, Springfield. Joan was born on March 21, 1933 in Milton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Earl Gordon and Dorothy Brooks (Jenkins) Hersey. She graduated from Milton High School in 1950, and received her Associate’s Degree from Boston University in 1952. She was employed by the U.S. Naval Academy where she met the love of her life, William J. Meyer, Jr., a lieutenant in the Navy, and they married on November 11, 1954. Soon after, Bill was transferred to the Naval Base San Diego, CA and in 1955, their oldest son, William J. Meyer III (Billy) was born.
In 1956, after Bill’s discharge, they moved their family to Lombard, IL, and son Steven Edward joined the family. In 1958, the family settled in Taylorville, IL, and lived there until Bill and Joan retired to Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2010. In 1963, daughter Alison Brooks was born. In 1969, Joan returned to college to begin a degree in Education. She graduated from Sangamon State University, now known as University of Illinois-Springfield, with a Master’s Degree in English, minor in Mathematics, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. Joan did temporary and long-term substitute teaching in the Christian County area for nearly 3 decades. But perhaps Joan is best known for her summer job at Manner’s Park Pool: Red Cross swimming instructor and Junior and Senior Lifesaving (life guard training), where her voice could be heard throughout the pool by nearly 3 generations: “Roll over!” “Breathe!” “Cup your hands!” (to name a few!).
Joan volunteered wherever she lived: the Shadow Home and the Senior Citizen Center were her favorite places in Taylorville. In Fort Lauderdale, when she wasn’t exercising or swimming, Joan was a 20+ year volunteer at Insight for the Blind, and helped “clean” the First Presbyterian Church on Mondays. Joan’s voice and laughter were her trademark, and she never missed a birthday: sending her “Joan Meyer originals” created on her computer. Her recent illness quieted her voice, but never her spirits or her humor. This world may be quieter without Joan’s voice and distinct laughter, but Heaven has gained an angel whose voice can carry across the clouds!
Bill passed away on August 20, 2016, but Joan is survived by her three children: William John (Diana) III of Monett, Missouri; Steven Edward (Lisa) of Dallas TX; and Alison Brooks (Stephen) Cappellin of Springfield, IL. She adored her 4 grandchildren: Harriett Gayle Meyer of Monett, MO, Scott Evan Meyer of College Station, TX, Stephen Anthony (Tony) Cappellin of Manhattan, KS, and Catherine Brooks (Catie) Cappellin of Blacksburg, VA. Joan is also survived by her two sisters: Alison Brooks Henderson of Mattapoisett, Mass., and Jacqueline Lee Spargo of Norwell, Mass., her brother Donald Gordon Hersey of Bucksport, Maine, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Cremation was provided prior to ceremonies.
Visitation & Memorial Ceremony: The family will receive friends Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. until the time of the Memorial Ceremony at 4:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Taylorville, 116 E. Franklin St., Taylorville, IL 62568 with Rev. Michael Evanchak celebrant. Following the ceremony, please join family and friends at Angelo’s Pizza, 404 W. Spresser St., Taylorville, IL to help celebrate Joan’s life and legacy.
Private interment will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to: First Presbyterian Church, 116 East Franklin Street, Taylorville, IL, 62568, or Insight for the Blind, Inc., 1401 Northeast 14th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33304.
Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home, 202 W. Franklin St., Taylorville, IL 62568, has been entrusted with ceremonies.
Please visit www.assalleyfuneralhomes.com to offer condolences to the family.