obituaries

Joyce Zerban

Highland |

Joyce A. Zerban

September 19, 1942 - April 7, 2023

Joyce passed away at home, after a brief illness.

She had a long and rewarding career as a first-grade teacher and reading specialist. She always said that she never went to work - she went to school. She was delighted to have second generation students. She was tickled to interact with her former students as adults, and she could often recognize them by their smiles. Her students were her kids, and they all meant the world to her.

She married the love of her life, Don Zerban, in 1980 on the first day of spring. They packed in a lot of happiness and amazing adventures together before Don passed away in 2000. 

She led by example. She never wanted to be left out, and she was usually up for a glass of wine. She was involved in so many things in her retirement that her family could barely keep track of her. She was greatly invested in the community that she held so dear, serving on the school board, women’s club, garden club, and the library board. She supported the arts and other important causes. She greatly valued adventures in travel, locally and internationally. She loved time with the Divas. She was an avid reader and would easily get lost in a good book at any given time. She was part of several book clubs, though sometimes it was more about getting together than reading the book. She loved playing Rummikub with her friends and her grandkids. There was an important morning text group every day. She appreciated all of you. 

She fiercely loved her family, and we loved her back. We were so lucky to have her, and we know it.

She is survived by her children: daughter Jennifer McGill (husband Brian), son J.R. Stever (wife Alison North), and bonus daughter Laurie Papes; her siblings: Jerry Genteman (wife Bobbie), John Genteman (wife Nancy), and Jody Genteman; her grandchildren Tristan, Candice, Corinne, Amanda, Finnegan, Leyna and Darby, as well as loving nieces and a nephew.

She is survived by her many partners in fun, adventure, and community.

And, lastly, she is survived by countless kids who learned to love school and love reading all because of her.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to the benefit of the Children’s Library at the Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library, or a literacy program of your choice.

Arrangements are being handled by Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland, IL.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday, April 14, 2023, and from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland, IL. 

Funeral Mass will be at 9:00 AM on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at Saint Paul Catholic Church in Highland, IL, with Rev. Fr. Pat G. Jakel, Pastor, officiating. 

Interment will be at Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Highland, IL.


Obit Provided By:
Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home

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