Joan Alice (Hegland) Luhman died Dec. 2, 2019, at the age of 85. Born in Radcliffe, Iowa, on Aug. 12, 1934, to Jesse and Serina Thorsheim Hegland, Joan was a longtime resident of Iowa City. A celebration of the Christian faith and life of Joan will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City. The Rev. Jennifer Lutz will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City.
Baptized and confirmed at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Radcliffe, she actively practiced her Christian faith throughout her life. Even in her later years, she could quote from memory parts of Luther's Small Catechism, which she learned in her youth.
She graduated from Radcliffe High School. As a high school student, she was accompanying pianist for all soloists, small choruses and choirs, and played the flute in band and small ensembles, returning to her role as an accompanist later in life when one was needed at her daughter's junior high school.
Lowell Luhman was Joan's high school sweetheart and subsequent love of her life. They were married on Dec. 3, 1951, in Iowa City. They had 67 wonderful years of marriage. She was a most capable homemaker and ideal mother for their three children, David, Susan and Steven. Their marriage spanned Lowell's college and medical school years, his internship and obstetrical and gynecology, and his years of private practice. She always was extremely supportive all through Lowell's years of training and practice. This required her to take on major responsibility for nurturing and raising their family.
With her Christian faith playing a central role in her life, Joan was instrumental in instilling a strong Christian faith in her three children. She was a longtime member of Zion Lutheran Church and served as a Sunday school teacher and youth group leader in her younger years, staying active in the women's circle as well. Later in life, she deeply valued visiting and distributing communion to the home bound. She also was a volunteer in the chaplaincy department at the university hospital for a number of years.
For most of her life, she was active with the elderly and disabled. She generously gave of her time both as a phone companion and a visitor and provided transportation when needed. Her caring extended to young adults to whom Joan and Lowell provided a home over the years. Their shared concern for others, especially the mentally ill, led Joan and Lowell to become members of Luther Seminary's Partners and establish an endowment for pastoral care education with particular attention to mental illness.
For over 50 years, Joan was an active member of the Christian Women's Club and the Iowa City P.E.O. chapter. She served on the board and various committees of the ewe. She and Lowell also were members of the University of Iowa President's Club. Joan was very family oriented and truly adored her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her entire extended family was extremely important to her, and she loved being with them whenever possible. She also was proud of her Norwegian heritage, visiting relatives on six trips to Norway. Joan and Lowell attended two large reunions held in Norway of the American and Norwegian branches of her family and several hosted in the United States.
Joan enjoyed their travels to other foreign destinations over the years as well, including Caribbean, Alaskan and Baltic Sea cruises. They also toured Israel and took several European tours, which included visiting Luhman relatives. She and Lowell were avid followers of Hawkeye sports, attending football, men's basketball and women's basketball games, as well as wrestling matches. Music remained very important to her, and they attended many university music school and local programs, as well as multiple Hancher productions.
She is survived by husband, Lowell; two children, David (Ruby) Luhman of Iowa City and Susan (Kurt) Keljo of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; grandchildren, Jesse (Sara) Keljo of Indianapolis, Ind., and Kirsten (Scott) Olson of Redmond, Wash.; stepgranddaughter, Shelly Hansen of North Liberty; three grandchildren, Evelyn and Owen Keljo and Quinn Olson; two stepgrandchildren, Lydia Goff and Krista Olson; brother-in-law, Dean (Oma) Luhman of Radcliffe; and sister-in-law, Joan (Roland) Wright of Brentwood, Tenn. She had many cherished cousins, nieces, nephews and other relatives scattered throughout the states.
She was preceded in death by her son, Steven; parents, Jesse and Serina Hegland; and brother and wife, Robert and Joan Hegland.
In lieu of flowers, to honor Joan, memorials may be made to Zion Lutheran Church or Luther Seminary endowment fund, Seminary Relations, 2481 Como Ave., St Paul, MN 55108.
Joan was a loving, caring, giving person, adored by her family and will be forever missed.
Online condolences may be made at www.lensingfuneral.com.