Joan Phyllis Bergquist, 77, of Elburn, passed away quietly Wednesday morning, June 5, 2012, at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva, surrounded by the love and care of her family.
Joan was born Nov. 13, 1934, in Dundee, Ill., the daughter Anton and Hazel (Nehls) Oksas. She grew up in St. Charles and graduated from St. Charles High School with the class of 1953.
Following graduation, she went to work at Howell Manufacturing.
When her high school sweetheart, Albert Bergquist, left for boot camp, he proposed and told Joan she had six weeks to put a wedding together. While home on leave, Al and Joan were married on Dec. 29, 1955, at St. Mark Lutheran Church in St. Charles.
Al and Joan began their new life and spent their first holiday together, making their home on the corner of Keslinger Road and Route 47 in Elburn. Later, they would live in town at the Bateman house until 1958, when they moved their young family to the farm on Pouley Road.
A busy mother of two, Joan, who was a “city girl,” began to learn about life on the farm. Within a few years, their family grew to include two more daughters, and in that time, Joan managed her home, the children, and cared for her in-laws, as well. Life on the farm was never dull, and occasionally full of excitement. Somehow Joan took it all in stride, and her family remembers her as being “amazing,” somehow managing everything that life brought her way.
In the 1970s, Joan worked for a time at Ball’s Seed Company. For a number of years, she was employed at Pathology Consultants in Geneva.
In 1992, when the children were grown and life was slower, Al bought a Goldwing motorcycle from a neighbor. Al and Joan took to the road every weekend from March through October. There was no destination too far, and over the years they covered every state except Alaska and Hawaii. They loved everything about those days on the road, stopping to see interesting sights and traveling the back roads where the scenery was rich and beautiful.
In 1996 they traded up for a newer model, and in 2003 they purchased a “Trike.” The Trike travelled thousands of miles over highways and byways with Al in the driver’s seat and Joan perched behind him.
Joan was an active member of Lord of Life Church, LaFox, where she was involved in the women’s bible study group and often served in the welcome center and as a greeter.
She was a member of the Quivera Club in the early years. She and Al danced with the Sugar Squares and were members of the GWRRA Illinois B-2, DK of DeKalb, and Chapter V in Batavia. Recently, Joan became a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Post No. 630 Elburn.
Joan was a trusted friend, a devoted wife and mother who was always there whenever they needed her. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the sunshine of her days, and she delighted, making holidays special for them. There were countless “parties” at grandma’s house, complete with special treats and decorations.
She was always in the stands to cheer on her grandchildren in whatever sport they were involved in. They could always look up and see grandma on the bleachers.
Joan leaves a legacy of love to be handed down from generation to generation, and a lifetime of stories that will be told whenever family and friends are together.
She is survived by four children, Vicki Bergquist of Elburn, Al “Butch” (Connie) Bergquist of Troxel, Barbara (Patrick) Bradford of Maple Park and Mary (Chuck) Liss of Elburn; six grandchildren, Rebecca (Ronald Jr.) Edwards, nee Bradford, of Sycamore, Ben and Blake Bradford of Maple Park, and Mackenzie, Allison and Chuck Liss of Elburn; two great-grandchildren, Shelby and Bradford Edwards of Sycamore; one brother, Bob (Inga) Oksas of Maple Park; one sister, Carol Fabrizius of Maple Park; two brothers-in-law, Carl (Sharon) Bergquist of St. Charles and Norman (Diane) Bergquist of Elburn; one sister-in-law, Alice Nickels of Monroe, Wis.; many nieces and nephews and a host of friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Al; her parents; sister-in-law, Diane Oksas; and one brother-in-law, Joseph Fabrizius.
Joan’s visitation was held June 8 at Lord of Life Church, Route 38 and LaFox Road in LaFox. A service to celebrate her life followed. Interment was held at Blackberry Cemetery in Elburn.
A memorial has been established in Joan’s name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Joan Bergquist Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119.
Tributes may be forwarded to the family at the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.