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Joan Reiser

March 29, 1929 -
March 7, 2019

Joan M. Reiser, 89, Urbana, passed away on Thursday evening, March 7, 2018 at Meadowbrook Health Center in Urbana.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 405 W. Clark St., Champaign. Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m. at the church, just prior to the Mass. G…read more

Joan M. Reiser, 89, Urbana, passed away on Thursday evening, March 7, 2018 at Meadowbrook Health Center in Urbana.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 405 W. Clark St., Champaign. Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m. at the church, just prior to the Mass. Graveside services will take place at a later date.

Joan was born on March 29, 1929 in Chicago, the second child of Franklin L. and Genevieve LaRocque Bergeron. She married Robert F. Reiser on Sept. 7, 1957, at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Their children are Kathy Reiser and Thomas Reiser, both of Savoy. Joan also is survived by one brother, Richard Thomas Bergeron, New York, New York; one sister, Suzanne Schultz, Creve Coeur, Missouri; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Robert F. Bergeron.

The Bergerons moved from Chicago to the family farm near Manteno toward the end of the Great Depression. Joan and her two brothers attended the Brown School, a rural, one-room schoolhouse that had neither indoor plumbing nor electricity; she graduated from Manteno Township High School, which by then had some of both. She went on to graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied zoology and chemistry.

After college Joan worked in the lab at Kankakee State Hospital, and then for the American Hospital Association in Chicago. She and Bob raised their children in Manteno, where Bob practiced law and Joan managed the office as well as the family home.

Joan and her husband Bob were best friends, and their nearly 50-year marriage was built on a foundation of mutual affection, trust and respect.

Once their younger child, Tom, was in high school, Bob took an administrative position with the University of Illinois at Chicago and Joan went to work for the Research Institute at the American Dental Association in Chicago. She retired from ADA as the staff coordinator in the Division of Science.

In her retirement Joan became a legendary cookie-baker and an avid flower gardener.

Bob and Joan moved to Savoy after they retired in the late 1990s, and Bob died of dementia-related complications in 2005. They were members of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Champaign. Several years ago Joan moved to Urbana’s Clark-Lindsey Village, where she made many friends among the residents and staff. Joan was known for her warm smile and her unfailing positivity. She died after a short and courageous battle against metastatic lung cancer.

Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Cross School in Champaign, or an organization of the donor’s choice.

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