Joan Curtis Meyer

joan meyer

March 21, 1933 ~ September 7, 2017

Joan Curtis (Hersey) Meyer, 84, Taylorville, passed away at 10:55 pm on September 7, at St. John’s Hospital, Springfield.  Joan was born on March 21, 1933 in Milton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Earl Gordon and Dorothy Brooks (Jenkins) Hersey. She graduated from Milton High School in 1950, and received her Associate’s Degree from Boston University in 1952. She was employed by the U.S. Naval Academy where she met the love of her life, William J. Meyer, Jr., a lieutenant in the Navy, and they married on November 11, 1954. Soon after, Bill was transferred to the Naval Base San Diego, CA and in 1955, their oldest son, William J. Meyer III (Billy) was born. 

In 1956, after Bill’s discharge, they moved their family to Lombard, IL, and son Steven Edward joined the family.  In 1958, the family settled in Taylorville, IL, and lived there until Bill and Joan retired to Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2010.  In 1963, daughter Alison Brooks was born.  In 1969, Joan returned to college to begin a degree in Education.  She graduated from Sangamon State University, now known as University of Illinois-Springfield, with a Master’s Degree in English, minor in Mathematics, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. Joan did temporary and long-term substitute teaching in the Christian County area for nearly 3 decades.  But perhaps Joan is best known for her summer job at Manner’s Park Pool:  Red Cross swimming instructor and Junior and Senior Lifesaving (life guard training), where her voice could be heard throughout the pool by nearly 3 generations:  “Roll over!”  “Breathe!”  “Cup your hands!” (to name a few!).

Joan volunteered wherever she lived:  the Shadow Home and the Senior Citizen Center were her favorite places in Taylorville.  In Fort Lauderdale, when she wasn’t exercising or swimming, Joan was a 20+ year volunteer at Insight for the Blind, and helped “clean” the First Presbyterian Church on Mondays.  Joan’s voice and laughter were her trademark, and she never missed a birthday:  sending her “Joan Meyer originals” created on her computer.  Her recent illness quieted her voice, but never her spirits or her humor.  This world may be quieter without Joan’s voice and distinct laughter, but Heaven has gained an angel whose voice can carry across the clouds!

Bill passed away on August 20, 2016, but Joan is survived by her three children:  William John (Diana) III of Monett, Missouri; Steven Edward (Lisa) of Dallas TX; and Alison Brooks (Stephen) Cappellin of Springfield, IL. She adored her 4 grandchildren:  Harriett Gayle Meyer of Monett, MO, Scott Evan Meyer of College Station, TX, Stephen Anthony (Tony) Cappellin of Manhattan, KS, and Catherine Brooks (Catie) Cappellin of Blacksburg, VA.  Joan is also survived by her two sisters:  Alison Brooks Henderson of Mattapoisett, Mass., and Jacqueline Lee Spargo of Norwell, Mass., her brother Donald Gordon Hersey of Bucksport, Maine, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Cremation was provided prior to ceremonies.

Visitation & Memorial Ceremony: The family will receive friends Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. until the time of the Memorial Ceremony at 4:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Taylorville, 116 E. Franklin St., Taylorville, IL 62568 with Rev. Michael Evanchak celebrant.  Following the ceremony, please join family and friends at Angelo’s Pizza, 404 W. Spresser St., Taylorville, IL to help celebrate Joan’s life and legacy.

Private interment will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to:  First Presbyterian Church, 116 East Franklin Street, Taylorville, IL, 62568, Insight for the Blind, Inc., 1401 Northeast 14th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33304, or Taylorville Public Library, 121 W. Vine St., Taylorville, IL 62568.

Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home, 202 W. Franklin St., Taylorville, IL 62568, has been entrusted with ceremonies.

Please visit to offer condolences to the family.


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Memories Timeline


  1. Sending warm thoughts of Joan after 10 years of friendship (1959 -69) in Taylorville.
    Joan & Bill were good to stay in touch after our move to Oconomowoc, WI in 1969. Fond memories of fun family times with Billy, Steve, Alison, Joan & Bill. Please send contact information when you have time. Fran Brummitt Durkin, N53W35256 Lighthouse Lane, Oconomowoc, WI email: 262-468-6852
    Joan was a dear who loved life. I will miss our birthday phone calls and Joan.

  2. Joan substituted for my husband and me at Edinburg High School. She was my favorite sub because I knew she would be in charge and would get the job done! We became friends through school. I can still hear her voice and her laugh. She was always upbeat. I am sorry for your loss.

  3. Allison, your mother was one of a kind lady and she was a kind and friendly soul. I remember our days (you and I and others) at Kathy’s pool conversing and that is how I felt I knew her. Each time I would see her around town she would speak like she knew me from way back….so caring and always upbeat and in a great mood with laughter and jovial comments. She was indeed a monument at Manners Park swimming pool. Great memories of a great lady and y our dad was a friend and golf buddy of my dads (Mike Homa). Sending condolences to you all and she will be missed greatly.!

  4. Dear Allison, Billy and Steve all of us Gagne had great times with your Mom and DAD and at this time you have our condolences.

  5. Our sympathy is with you. May you find comfort in good memories.
    We both remember sitting in the choir loft, many Sundays, and looking up to see Joan in the balcony, always wearing her hat. We enjoyed seeing her smile then – and we shared many a smile here at the Estates too. No doubt she is wearing an even happier smile now as she moves freely about with her beloved.

  6. Billy, Steve & Alison, I have so many fond memories of both your parents. The country club days, times in your dad’s office & seeing your mom around town. She was always so much fun. My mom would save her annual holiday letters – regardless of what holiday – for me to see. Looked forward to them. I’m sorry for your loss. Bless you all.

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