Obituary of Joyce I. Preston
Joyce I. Preston passed away at her home at Parkway Center, Sterling, IL, on December 27,
2022 at the age of 87.
Joyce was born October 23, 1935, the daughter of Henry and Laurene (Musselman) Brill. She
and her brother Don grew up on the family farm, about 10 miles northwest of Sterling. They both
went to elementary school at the nearby one-room Washington schoolhouse. Upon graduation
from Sterling High School, Joyce worked there as a secretary to Mr. Defoe for several years.
She was married to Gene Gaumer from 1956 to 1978. She was later married to Albert E. (Al)
Preston from 1988 until his death in 2002.
For 27 years (1978 - 2005), Joyce worked as supervisor of the Information Center and faculty
office at Sauk Valley Community College.
Joyce had a lifetime commitment to St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, where she was
baptized, confirmed, married, and an active member. She was a generous, caring, supportive
and humble wife, mother, aunt, and friend; who touched more lives than she probably realized.
Survivors include her brother, Donald Brill and wife Alice, of Sterling; Gene Gaumer, of Rock
Falls; son Timothy Gaumer and wife Mary Clutts, of Oakland, CA; daughter Julie (Gaumer)
Lennon and husband Hal, of Freeport, IL. Surviving nephews include Ed Brill and wife Sue, of
Sterling; Daryl Kent Gaumer, of The Woodlands, TX and Michael Gaumer, of Kyle, TX.
Surviving nieces include Diane (Brill) Hecker and husband Bob, of Sheldon, WI; Janet Brill, of
Waupaca, WI; and Sandy (Gaumer) Siegel and husband Bill, of Ponte Vedra, FL.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 5th, at 11AM at St. John’s Evangelical
Lutheran Church, 703 Third Avenue Sterling, IL, with Pastor Jacob Gawlik officiating. Final
respects are invited beginning at 10AM in the main sanctuary. Burial will be at at Oak Knoll Memorial Park,
Sterling, with a private graveside service for immediate family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to St. John’s in memory of Joyce.