Joann's Story

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Our Beloved Mother, Sister, Grandmother and Aunt Joann E. Kroeger died on Thursday, January 4, 2018. Funeral services will be held at Bauer Funeral Home in Effingham, January 8th at 4pm.

Joann was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1938 to Bruno and Helen Wajs and attended St. Francis of Assisi Parish School and Austin HS in Chicago. Joann was a gifted student in the Arts and Mathematics and member of the National Honor Society. She attended training in office management and worked at Motorola in Chicago, Illinois before marrying Ralph Kroeger in 1961 and moving to Effingham, Illinois where she resided until her death. Joann was a valued office manager at Farmer's Home Administration (FMHA) and WG Best Homes throughout the 60's and 70's in Effingham. She also worked at Advance Transportation Trucking in Teutopolis throughout the 80's and 90's. In a time when most women remained at home, Joann not only attended to her responsibilities at work, but also raised her six children, making a successful home for them and her husband and extending herself to friends and neighbors.

Joann was an avid reader for leisure and entertainment. She enjoyed musical activities in school and joined St. Anthony Church, serving as a Cantor and Eucharistic Minister; she was also active on the Counsel of Catholic Women (CCW) and in DeColores. In her later years, Joann volunteered at Right to Life and at F.I.S.H, transporting patients to and from hospital appointments. Joann was an athlete, a spunky and intelligent person, enjoying tennis and bowling leagues, board games with her family, and crossword puzzles with her dad and sisters. She played softball in her youth and enjoyed horseshoes, walking, and vegetable and flower gardening. Joann taught her children to do well in life, leading by example an upstanding life in the country with her husband, Ralph. They celebrated their marriage for 55 years. Joann, "Jo," will be greatly missed.
Joann Kroeger is survived by her brother Jimmy Wajs; sister(s), Alice Weiss and Christine Gabel (Mark) as well as her own grown children: Lisa (Yoshi) Hayasaki of Champaign; Dr. Janice Kroeger (Judy Klingler) of Stow, OH; Steve Kroeger of Albany, NY; Laura (Dr. Joseph) Solan of Shumway; Brett Kroeger of Lake St. Louis, MO; and Valerie (Kelly) Smith of Chicago, IL. Joann has 14 grandchildren and five great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by husband of 55 years Ralph Dwight Kroeger, parents, Bruno and Helen, and brother Leo Wajs.
The family wishes to acknowledge the care and loving support Joann received for many years in the Alzheimer's Care Unit at Aperion Care, St. Elmo.
Published on January 5, 2018
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