Joan Marie Oeltjen, 86,
of Marion, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, under hospice care at Linn Manor Care Center in Marion. Visitation: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Marion. Memorial service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Marion, conducted by Pastor Miranda Klosterboer.
Joan was born Dec. 19, 1932, in Galveston, Texas, the daughter of Scott and Elizabeth (Collerain) Williams. Joan was the oldest child of a large family of two brothers and five sisters. The family lived in various towns around Texas and eventually moved to Oakland, Calif., where Joan graduated from El Cerrito High School. She took some junior college classes and did some modeling. Joan found full-time work with Bell Telephone Co. Joan was married in California to Eustace Bellinger. Together they had three children, Thomas, Valerie and Shauna. She later married Marlin Oeltjen on June 26, 1987. Together they had 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Joan loved her family and enjoyed getting them together for family activities.
After her family was raised, Joan worked in accounting and tax preparation. She later worked for Linn County Abstract Co. for more than 20 years, retiring in 1997. Joan was an advocate for women's and children's rights. She often would go out in the middle of the night to rescue a woman and her children from an abusive situation, finding them a safe place to stay before she returned home. Joan volunteered for numerous organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International, YWCA Women's Shelter, Prairiewoods Spiritual Center and was an active member at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. Joan loved sports and watched them on TV and in person. She and Marlin traveled to Iowa Hawkeye football games, including some bowl games. She loved to go to Kernels baseball games in the summer. Joan and Marlin traveled all over the United States by car, bus, train and plane. They took several trips to Hawaii and enjoyed a trip to France for their 25th wedding anniversary.
Joan is survived by her husband, Marlin Oeltjen; her son, Thomas (Margaret) Bellinger; daughters, Valerie (Bill) Hanson and Shauna (Jonathan) Meier; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two stepsons; and two stepgrandchildren; three sisters; and a brother.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters; one brother; and an aunt.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in Joan's memory be given to Lutheran Church of the Resurrection or the Madge Phillips Center Waypoint in Cedar Rapids.
Special thanks from the family go out to Dr. Richardson, Compassus Hospice and the staff at Linn Manor Care Center for the care they provided to Joan.
Please share a memory of Joan at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.