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Joan (Deyo) Heth Claussen

November 12, 1932 ~ February 21, 2021 (age 88)

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Joan Deyo Heth Claussen, 88, of Rock Island, passed away peacefully Sunday, February 21, 2021 at Park Vista Retirement Living in East Moline, Illinois due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. Joan graduated from Rock Island High School in 1950 before attending Augustana College. At Augustana, Joan was a member of the tennis team and was also a part of the Chi Omega Gamma Sorority. She married Stan Heth in 1955. Joan and Stan had two children, son Scott and daughter Elizabeth (Buffy). Joan was a devote educator, first working as a playground monitor and taught a majority of her 40 years with the Rock Island School district. When talking about her years as a teacher she would say “I never worked a day in my life”. 

Joan later married Robert Claussen in 1983. The pair purchased a farm in Preemption, a place that would go on to be a staple of her family’s memories. The two cared for various animals at their farm including pigs, horses, goats, and chickens. Joan was known as “The Chicken Lady” for love of her prized chickens. While living in Preemption, Joan was a member of United Methodist Church and loved her church family where she regularly attended bible study classes. There she met many of her “country” family members especially Bonnie, Vance, and Geanie.

After her retirement from teaching, Joan was a member of the Trinity Auxiliary Board and the 50’s Club of Rock Island High School. 

Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Scott (Kathy) Deyo Heth and Elizabeth (Leland) McLaughlin; Kathy Heth’s four sons; four grandchildren, Andrew (Amanda) Vanderlinden, Sarah Beth Reid, Meghan McLaughlin, and Christopher McLaughlin; four great-grandchildren Elijah and Leilah Reid and Axl and Ace Vanderlinden; sister-in-law, Char Heth Sharp; sidekicks Mo and Barbie; childhood best friend, Barbara Larsen; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, 3 sisters and 2 brothers.

The family would like to thank UnityPoint Trinity Hospice and the amazing, beautiful staff of Park Vista. “Thank you for loving Jo.”

A public visitation will be Sunday, Feb. 28, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 3030 7th Avenue, Rock Island.  Face masks and social distancing will be required. Funeral services will be private in-person, however, broadcast via live stream at 10 am Monday, March 1, 2021 by visiting www.wheelanpressly.com/live-stream.  A private committal and burial will take place at Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Rock Island High School or the Quad City Animal Welfare Center. 

Online condolences, memories and expressions of sympathy may be left for the family at wheelanpressly.com

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan (Deyo) Heth Claussen, please visit our floral store.


February 28, 2021

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory
3030 - 7th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201

Live broadcast and streamed funeral
March 1, 2021

10:00 AM
Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory
3030 - 7th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201

Private Interment

Greenview Memorial Gardens, East Moline

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