Joan Garrison Lewis, 86, of Quincy, Illinois, died peacefully and surrounded by family on May 8, 2017 at Blessing Hospital, Quincy.
She was raised in Rushville. When her parents moved to a farm in Brown County, she attended her senior year and then graduated from Mt. Sterling High School in 1948. For the year following, she worked for her father’s law firm of Garrison and Crandall in Rushville as a legal secretary and abstractor of real estate titles.
Joan attended Monmouth College and married George J. Lewis in the First Christian Church in Mt. Sterling on June 19, 1951.
As a youth growing up in Rushville, she became an avid swimmer earning a reputation as one of the best swimmers at the Scripps Park Pool. Since the pool had no swimming instructors, Joan is generally accredited with having taught hundreds of young people how to swim.
Throughout her life, Joan was a daring adventurer, never passing up an opportunity to experience new activities in which George seemed too afraid to participate. Such activities included sky diving at Quincy’s Free Fall Convention, Zip Lining in Costa Rica, Para Sailing in the Atlantic, White Water Rafting in Colorado and Oregon, Snorkeling with dolphins in Hawaii, riding an ostrich and an elephant, riding a camel among Egypt’s pyramids, body surfing, and spelunking.
Joan (along with George) was a prolific traveler which included living for a year in England during which she co-authored a book “Rolling in the Isles”, three visits to Russia, camping throughout Europe with their daughters of ages 1 and 3, exciting trips to the Arctic and Antarctica, and a recent trip with the entire family to New Zealand and Australia – Australia fulfilling their goal of traveling in all of the world’s seven continents.
In addition to traveling, Joan found time to enjoy her bridge clubs, Mexican Train Domino Group, Friday Lunch Bunch, fishing, PEO and many hours of volunteer work which included her developing and managing a very successful program of tutoring Quincy Junior High School students. The tutoring project was sponsored by the First United Presbyterian Church for which she served as an Elder. Her uncanny winning ability playing dominos earned her the All Time Domino Championship Trophy.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by children: Karen (Stephen) Forte of Bend, Oregon; Sheri (Mike) Jackson of Estes Park, Colorado; and Gary (Debby) Lewis of Quincy, Illinois; Grandchildren: Jesse Jackson of Loveland, Colorado; Mikki Jackson of Denver, Colorado; Paul (Jennifer) Forte of Bend, Oregon; Michael (Stephanie) Forte of Berkeley, California. She also grandmothered many stepgrand and stepgreat grandchildren and further is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and her sister, Cynthia Garrison (Dan) Bell of Pierson, Florida.
Joan was preceded in death by her daughter, Ronda Kay Lewis, her parents, two brothers, Franklin D. Garrison, Jr. and Harry R. Garrison, and her nephew, Eddie Allen Norvell, Jr.
Visitation: 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, May 12 at Hansen – Spear Funeral Home, 1535 State Street, Quincy, Illinois 62301.
Services: 10:00 a.m. Saturday, May 13 at Hansen – Spear Funeral Home.
Burial: Saturday, May 13, at the Hersman Cemetery, Hersman, Illinois.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Monmouth College Scholarship Fund, or Doctors Without Borders, or Hersman, Andrews, Lewis Revolving College Scholarship Trust.
Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.