Joan C. Schaaf-Yommer, our dear Mother, Grandmother and GG (Great Grandmother) crossed the veil into heaven on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Born in Hunter, KS March 16, 1930 to Bertrand and Matilda Miller, she was the youngest of seven children raised on a 160-acre dry land farm.
The dust bowl took a heavy toll on her life, contributing to her Grandmother and Mother's deaths from tuberculosis. Because the fear of TB was so widespread at that time, her family was shunned and she led a lonely, isolated childhood. Her natural optimism gradually won her friendships.
Joan attended Engells School, a one room, coal heated school house until 8th grade. Then, attending Hunter high school (The Huntsmen) was a starting guard on the Girls basketball team. An achievement she attributed to drive, hard work and a roster totaling 5 girls. She also enjoyed almost any extracurricular activity that prevented milking cows and doing chores! During her summers, she worked and resided in Hospitals, in Beloit, KS (age 15-16) and Reno, NV (17).
Joan graduated Valedictorian and class secretary from Hunter High School in 1948. She then attended and graduated from Kansas City General Hospital completing her RN. She worked in several areas of nursing throughout her career but her favorites were Obstetrics and IV Therapy, in which she was phenomenally talented. She loved working as a nurse and even years after she retired patients still remembered her kind and gentle care. She returned to school at Washburn University later studying Anthropology and was selected to the National Honor Society for Academic achievement.
After the death of her first husband of 31 years, Art Schaaf, Sr in 1985, she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was there she met Harry Yommer.
On an early date, they went for a drive exploring the beautiful areas near Manhattan, Kansas. They stumbled upon Pillsbury crossing on that fine Spring day, mortified to find it was a make out spot for local young people. Beating a hasty, laughing retreat, they settled for a meal of fried chicken at Brown's Restaurant on US 24. They were married January 6, 1988. She and Harry delighted in feeding virtually anyone who walked into their home and lived lives of service to others.
After Harry's death in 2005, she expressed regret of never owning a Harley Davidson. So, in her 70's she bought a trike. She was thrilled knowing she was a "Biker". She seldom terrorized the neighborhood. Much to her chagrin did not make it to Sturgis.
Joan loved to sew and quilt and made heirloom quilts for her family. She was an avid gardener and brought much joy and beauty to peoples' lives with her bouquets of homegrown flowers. She was a sweet, gentle soul, except when she was dressed for work at which point she was "Charge Nurse," her children then knew to behave or suffer the consequences of her machine gun quick snapping fingers and ominous gaze.
We are truly blessed by God to have had her as our Mom, Grandmother, and GG. She is survived by four children: Teresa Douglas, Art (Pam) Schaaf Jr, Aaron (Bangie) Schaaf, Lisa (Bob) Beaver, ten grandchildren: Elizabeth and Alex Schaaf, Jodi Vargas, Jeni Douglas, Khristina, Danielle, and Katie Schaaf, Remi Beaver, Natalie Ross and Amy Webb along with twelve great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 14, 2017 at Penwell-Gable Southeast Chapel. Graveside Committal Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 15, 2017 in Spillman Cemetery at Lincoln, Kansas.
Joan will lie in state and the family will receive friends from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 13, 2017 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Colly Creek Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3611 SW Jewell Ave., Topeka, KS 66611 or to the Friends of Ted Ensley Gardens, P.O. Box 5601, Topeka, Kansas 66605.
May God, bless you and keep you.
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