The Pohlman family are, from left, to right, Phil, Kyle, Greg, Joan (Mom), Stephanie, Jan, Jim and Reg. Ed, the father of the family and Joan’s husband, died in 2007. Jim died in 2014.

CARROLLTON - The epitome of motherhood to not only the Pohlman family, but nearly the entire town of Carrollton is Joan Pohlman.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

When someone from Carrollton thinks about a mom, likely Joan’s name comes to mind, so it is fitting today, on Mother’s Day to pay tribute to her.

For years, Jan Pohlman one of Joan’s daughters, said her mother has had some simple words to say about motherhood: “She says the only thing she ever wanted in life was to have a big family and for them to love one another,” Jan said.

Joan, now 82, but going strong, agreed with what Jan said: “Most of the time I tell them to always love and care for one another,” she said. “I just always thought it was important to have a family and to raise them like I wanted them to be, good, strong people. I am just proud of all of them and all of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In some respects, all my kids are different and others alike, but I just treated them all the same.”

Joan’s children have all been successful and lived extraordinary lives thanks to her and her husband, Ed. The Pohlmans are: Stephanie, retired from Dr. Caselton/Dr. Parcon’s practice; Greg, school teacher, coach, athletic director for Carrollton School District and small college All-American football player at Illinois College; Jim, who was a lineman for CIPS/Ameren; Reg, assistant chief of police in Carrollton and also an All-American small college football player at Illinois College; Jan, a school teacher for the Calhoun School District; Phil, retired from the Illinois State Police and small college football All-American at Illinois College; and Kyle, school teacher for the North Greene School District. Jim died in 2014. Jan Pohlman was recently inducted in the Illinois College Athletic Hall of Fame. Jan was inducted for her efforts in track and field. Greg, Reg, Phil and Jan Pohlman are all in the Illinois College Hall of Fame.

Joan worked at the Greene County Courthouse for more than 40 years and is retired. Ed Pohlman retired from Shell Oil Company and also was a barber in Carrollton for many years. Ed was “the Voice of the Hawks,” announcing football games for many years and track meets. Reg Pohlman, his son, has taken over that position, keeping it in the Pohlman family.

When a person visited the Pohlman house, there was always plenty of food to eat, even with the family having so many children. The family had a large dining room table, and most nights would all gather around it for dinner, prepared by Joan, also one of Carrollton’s best cooks.

“Most nights we sat around the table and had dinner,” she said.

The key to raising the family for Joan was working with her husband, Ed, as a team.

“When you have seven children you are trying to do your best all the time and try to work together,” she said of her and her husband. “It wasn’t like one went one way and the other went another. Ed liked to play ball and golf and was always busy coaching a ball team or something like that.”

When Joan and Ed could, they attended sporting events together, and with such an athletic family, there was always something to watch.

Article continues after sponsor message

Christmas has always been special for the Pohlman family. For years, the family had Christmas at home, but when the family swelled with grandchildren and great-grandchildren it was moved to Jim and Carol’s house.

“Christmas is always a great day for our family,” she said. “We had nice Christmases. Now we have Christmas on Christmas Eve.”

Joan and Ed were devoted to St. John’s Catholic Church and raised their kids Catholic. She always wanted her children to have faith. She said she sees having faith in God the only way to get through life’s ups and downs and mountains to climb.

“If you didn’t have faith, I think you would be lost in this world,” she said.

Joan has seven children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren with another to arrive soon.

Jan Pohlman describes her mom as being “the world” to all her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“She is the epitome of motherhood and she is a rock,” Jan said. “She has given of herself so unselfishly and made huge sacrifices for her family her entire life for her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. Her family is her entire life.”

For the boys and girls, who grew up in Carrollton, Joan keeps up best she can with what each are doing and their families. When it comes time for the children who grew up there to have a word with her, she always offers a hug, smile and encouragement.

Jan describes both her mom as “the greatest parents possible.”

“They were both great teachers and instilled the work ethic that is in all of us,” she said.

With the exception of Phillip, all her children have lived in Carrollton or nearby, for which she says she is thankful. She still religiously attends sporting events, now with grandchildren involved.

For Joan, the best part of her life was being married to her husband, Ed, and raising her kids.

“It was the joy of my life,” the Carrollton mother said.

More like this:

Sep 19, 2017 | Carrollton honors Joan Pohlman, Pohlman family during home volleyball game

Feb 6, 2015 | Success is a piece of cake for Sweet Sisters

Feb 14, 2023 | 50 Years Of Wedding Bliss: Dean And Carole Mann Leave Legacy With Family, Carrollton Community

Feb 14, 2019 | Happy Valentine's Day: Here's the perfect Midwestern love story of Dr. Bill and Marge Hopkins

Feb 4, 2011 | Calling All Volunteers!