Marjorie Joan Heffelfinger-Juttner was born June 20, 1935, to John W. and Marjorie Regina Avery Heffelfinger of Kellogg, Iowa. John was a farmer and purebred livestock producer.
Joan was in 8th grade when they moved to Washington, Iowa, where she went to junior high and high school, graduating with honors in 1953 from Washington High School. Following high school, she entered nurses' training at Iowa Methodist Hospital, School of Nursing-Des Moines, and graduated first in her class on September 1956.
Joan was hired by the Iowa Methodist Hospital. After two years as chief night supervisor and attending the University of Iowa, Iowa City, she completed a B.A. in Speech and Dramatic Arts (Theatre) enriching her love for theatre and acting. She was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society at the University of Iowa, June 1959.
During an extended visit to her Aunt in Oregon, she worked for the Red Cross on their mobile blood bank and Sacred Heart Hospital while taking classes and completed a B.A., pre-med, at the University of Oregon, Eugene graduating with honors.
In 1963 she came back to Iowa to reestablish her residency for medical school and taught nursing at Broadlawns Hospital in Des Moines. At the University of Iowa Medical School, she received honors in research, and worked as a pediatric nurse. She was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha in 1967. Her internship was in Columbus, Ohio. Upon completion she applied for a residency at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester MN to study Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. Joan graduated on June 30, 1972.
While at Mayo Clinic, she met a young, impressive doctor from Germany. Joan and Hans-Udo Juttner were married in Iowa on May 20, 1973 in Indianola, Iowa with her family gathered and on September 22, 1973 in Munich, Germany with his family and friends. They lived in Munich for two years and upon returning to the United States they settled in San Marino, California where she was employed from 1974 to 1978 as Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California - John Wesley County Hospital. Joan then joined the staff of a consortium of three hospitals from 1978 to 1989: South Bay Community Hospital, Redondo Beach, Little Company of Mary Hospital, Torrance and Centinela Hospital Medical Center Inglewood.
They enjoyed the California sights and entertainment industry, hosting relatives and friends. When the Queen of England was a guest of President Reagan, Joan was asked to be in charge of the Queen's medical safety, traveling about with responsibility for Queen Elizabeth's blood supply. She acted in a short competition film for the Los Angeles 48 hour Film project, using her acting ability for the first time since high school and college.
In 1990 they moved to West Virginia where she continued to practice pathology and taught at Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV. Joan served as President of the Millbrook Auxiliary, President of the Eastern Panhandle Medical Auxiliary and on the dinner dance committee of the Contemporary American Music Festival. She continued pursuing her passion for writing by taking courses at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Later they moved to Kohler, Wisconsin when her husband accepted a position at Aurora Health Care in Two Rivers, WI. In 2006 they built their retirement dream house in Oostburg on Lake Michigan.
Joan had many talents, among them was sewing. She was particularly good at quilting, creating clothing for herself and items for her brother-in-law Dirk to use for fundraising. She was a poet and a writer, publishing several books and submitting articles to medical journals. Between 2010 and 2013 Joan self-published five books that can be purchased on Amazon.com or Booksamillion.com. They are Balderdash: A Halloween Story, The Umble Bunny Family: Easter Dinner, Passage Out of Time: Poems about Time, Age, Life and Death, Junk Food vs. Spunk Food: Eating Rainbows and The Gift is Santa Claus.
Joan made marmalade and won awards at the Los Angeles County Fair. She truly enjoyed nature and gardening to brighten up the surroundings of their homes. She entered award winning flower arrangements and shared the beauty she created by hosting garden tours for local charities. While in West Virginia she pursued her love for music and performed with the Shepherd University Department of Music.
Joan and Hans enjoyed camping and traveling all over the world, meeting many people who became lifelong friends. She dedicated her time to care for her mother during her 10 year struggle with Alzheimer's and with her nephews, praising their accomplishments, supporting their desire for higher education and helping with every need.
Joan is survived by her husband of 44 years Hans, her sister June Garret of Iowa, nephews Barry (Linda), Illinois, Terry (Gina), Iowa and Gary (Roxanne), Nebraska, her brothers - in-law Dirk Juttner, England, Bernd Juttner (Roswitha), Germany, Manfred Minberg, Germany and nephew Patty. She is also survived by cousins and many friends. Joan was preceded in death by her parents, brother-in-law Gene Garret and sister-in-law Hella Minberg and her nephew Perry Garret.
A memorial service for Joan is at Zimmer Westview Funeral & Cremation Care Center, W2132 Garton Road Sheboygan, Wisconsin on May 16, 2017. Interment of her cremated remains will be at a later date at her parent's gravesite in Iowa.
W2132 Garton Road
Sheboygan, WI 53083
W2132 Garton Road
Sheboygan, WI 53083