We lost our amazing mom, grandma and great-grandma on January 14, 2015, at the age of 84. She was born on October 23, 1930, in Muskegon, to John and Helen Wichtoski, and grew up in Lansing. She graduated from St. Mary’s in 1949 as the class valedictorian, married Delbert, raised 9 children, then worked as a bookkeeper for the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing.
Joan was one of the first members of St. Therese Catholic Church and was a member of St. Bernadette’s Circle. She was extremely devoted to her religion and to her family and friends. If you had a friend in Joan, you had a friend for life. She looked forward to big family dinners on Sundays and holidays, the annual Oberlin Halloween party, and being anywhere that she could spend time with family and friends. She adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved having them around her. She also loved to read, bowl, visit casinos, play cards and dice, and walk. She enjoyed vacationing in Northern Michigan and spending winters in Florida and Arizona in the motor home.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Delbert; her son Jim; and siblings Jean, Jackie, John and Arlene. Surviving are her children, Jackie & Jeff Smith, Kathy & Greg Matheny, Maggie & Jerry Laban, Joanie Pereida, Terry & Paul Knapp, John Spitzley, Jerry Spitzley, Peggy Spitzley, and Joe & Yvette Spitzley; 26 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; sisters, Carol Wichtoski and Alice Wyatt; and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00am, Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, 102 W. Randolph St., Lansing, with the Rite of Committal in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. Joan’s family will receive friends at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm, Monday with a Rosary at 7 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association or Great Lakes Caring Hospice in memory of Joan. A special thank you to mom’s caregivers/family at Bickford Assisted Living in Okemos for providing remarkable care for the past 6 years.