Joan Purdue Jack, 86, of Decatur died peacefully in her home on June 2, 2014. Joan was born on September 2, 1927 to Troy Russell Purdue and Mildred Peabody Purdue and raised on a small family farm established by her paternal Great Grandfather in South Wheatland Township, Macon County, Illinois. In 1940, Joan’s family moved to Decatur where she remained for most of her life. Joan was a 1944 graduate of Decatur High School and a 1948 graduate of Millikin University.
Throughout her long life Joan highly valued public education and civic volunteer activities. She took great pride in attending the Walnut Grove School, a one-room rural schoolhouse for seven years. Following her graduation from college she moved to Granby, Colorado and taught elementary school before returning to Decatur in 1953 to marry David Conklin Jack, her husband of 56 years. Joan continued to teach for an additional five years at the Washington School, Decatur, until the birth of her second son, Scott. In addition to teaching, Joan served as an active board member of Kemmerer Village Child Care Agency for over 20 years, the Illini Presbyterian Home in Springfield, and as a member of the Alumni Board of Millikin University. Joan was a PEO charter member and past president of Chapter IF and she also served as past president of Lawyers’ Wives Guild of Decatur.
Joan was a devoted member of First Presbyterian Church of Decatur for 74 years, and she remained an active participant until her death.
Joan is survived by her sister Ruth Evelyn Smith of Springfield/Decatur; her eldest son David Conklin Jack Jr. (spouse: Amy Mayer) of Brookline, MA; her granddaughters Suzanna Joan Jack and Emily Barbara Jack of Brookline, MA; and Barbara McLaughlin of Houston, TX. Joan is preceded in death by her parents; a step-brother Ned Peabody; her two sons Robert Sloan Jack and Scott Stevens Jack; and her husband, David Conklin Jack, Sr.
At Joan’s request her body has been donated to science. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Robert Sloan Jack Memorial Scholarship Fund at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, the David C. and Joan P. Jack Scholarship Fund at Millikin University or to the Kemmerer Village Child Care Agency. Arrangements are being handled by Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home, Decatur, IL. Condolences may be made to the family at www.brintlingerandearl.com
Obituary written by family members.