Joan Velde

Obituary of Joan V Velde

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Joan V. Velde, 84, passed away at Rock River Hospice and Home on April 3, 2023. She was born Joan Violette Eshleman in Clinton, Iowa on September 3, 1938; the eldest daughter of Violette (Eckman) and Lyle Eshleman of the former Eshleman Photos.

Joan made four close childhood friends she stayed in touch with her entire life. She graduated from Sterling High School, where she sang in the robed choir and played piano, and attended Iowa State University. She worked as bookkeeper at GE, Quality Control at General Cable, and accounting at Bi-County Special Ed, Prescott Construction, and for the City of Rock Falls. An active member of First Presbyterian Church in Sterling since 1969, she served as deacon twice, sang in the church choir for many years, and did volunteer work. Her main hobby was photography. She exhibited and sold some of her photos and won a Blue Ribbon at the Whiteside County Fair. Many of her photos are published in Barns of Illinois: A Pictorial History (Harry Porter, 2003). She was also a constant reader, especially liking Nordic mysteries. She loved traveling to favorite places. Top of her list was the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan, followed by the American West, the Pacific Northwest, and a special trip to Nova Scotia with her daughter. A lifelong cat lover, she also raised two huskies. She was very proud of her hometown, its history, and old buildings. She was also proud of her Swedish heritage!

She was a generous, kind, and giving person. To the end of her life she treasured her family and friends, her home and pets. Beloved mother, sister, aunt, and cherished friend, she will be greatly missed.  

She is survived by daughter Pamela of Gig Harbor, WA, brother Roger (Linda), and nephew David of Van Nuys, CA, sister Diane of Tacoma, WA, and sister Lori of Tempe, AZ.

She was preceded in death by her father and mother.

Arrangements were completed by Schilling Funeral Home. A private ceremony will take place at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to

Donations can be made to Happy Tails Humane Society of Rock Falls, or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Joan
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Schilling Funeral Home
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Joan Velde

In Loving Memory

Joan Velde

1938 - 2023

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