Joan Gaunt Peschka, 90, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. Joan was born and raised in Great Bend, Kan. She graduated from Great Bend High School then attended Oklahoma College for Women and Kansas State University. Joan graduated from KSU in 1953 with a B.S. in Home Economics. She was a member of the Alpha Eta chapter of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority at KSU. Joan also attended KU Graduate School and the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where she received an M.A. in Secondary Education/Family Relations. Joan taught in Jr. and Sr. high schools for 10 years.
Joan married T. Alan Peschka in 1953. She was active in her community as the Town and Country Estates Homes Association president, a member of the Prairie Village Planning Commission, the Prairie Village Foundation Commission, and numerous other city committees. She received multiple accolades for her service from the City of Prairie Village, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the Mount Vernon Ladies Society. Joan was a member of St. John’s UMC for many years where she served as a chairman of the Shepherd’s Ministry and on the Board of Trustees. Joan was also instrumental in the design and creation of St. John’s Memorial Garden, a project near and dear to her heart, where she used her gifts as a gardener and keen eye for design to help develop and maintain the beautiful space. Her love of history and colonial style were the basis of her trademark design in both her gardens and her interior spaces. Joan was often described as classy, elegant, graceful, gracious, and compassionate. Joan was an avid sports fan and loved rooting for her local teams, especially the KC Chiefs and the KU Jayhawks. She loved doting on her family, friends, and neighbors and will be truly missed.
Joan was preceded in death by her husband, T. Alan Peschka; her parents, Harry and Dovie Gaunt; her brothers, Loren, Lowell, and Gordon Gaunt; and her beloved dogs Chauncey and Beau. She is survived by her sisters, Norma Jean Kopke (Robert Kopke), Nina Sue Stark (Wayne Stark), Great Bend, and Mary Lou Gilliland (Ronald Gilliland), Plainville, Kan.; many nieces, nephews, dear friends and neighbors; and her beloved dog Sir Walter Bennington (Bennie).
Service: At Joan’s request there will be no formal services, but instead a scattering of her ashes among the Flint Hills, Great Bend, and in St. John’s UMC Memorial Garden. The first ashes will be scattered on Sunday, Nov. 7 in the St. John’s UMC Memorial Garden at 12:15 p.m. following the 10:45 a.m. service. Joan will be remembered during the service as well. Memorial Contributions: Memorial contributions may be made to the following: Saint John’s UMC, 6900 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64113.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Oct. 29, 2021