Joan Marie (Haley) Stringham was born November 3, 1943, in Creston, Iowa, to James Calvin Haley and Dorotha Olive (Lane) Haley. Joan grew up her brother Robert, and sisters’ Julia and Mary Jane. She went to school in Benton and then graduated from Mount Ayr High School in 1962.
Joan was united in marriage to Donald Lee Stringham at the Benton Christian Church on June 3, 1962 before Donald left for the Navy. To this union two children were born Malinda Lea in 1967 and James Ernest in 1969.
Joan traveled along with Don to several Navy base locations before returning to Benton in 1979. They decided to reside in a 3rd Generation Family Home. Joan was known to keep very busy as she was a member of the Rebekah Lodge in 1979 for 40 years, American Legion Auxiliary in 1978 for 41 years, and the Modern Mothers Club all her life. She worked many jobs as a babysitter, waitress, ironing officers’ uniforms, drapery factory, salesclerk, Ringgold County Hospital in the laundry department and cook for several years. Joan retired from the Ringgold County Hospital as a cook in 2010 and then traveled many miles in a truck with Donnie. Also known as “Grandma” or “Granny” had three grandchildren Matthew James, Michael Shane and Mitchel Lee along with two great grandchildren LeaAnn Marie and Nicholas James who called her “Grandma Great”. Sunday Funday’s was our family gathering with activities and a good home cooked meal. She enjoyed bowling, reading, gardening, canning, sewing (making quilts), and following her grandchildren in their sports especially wrestling. Joan loved Christmas, Elvis Presley, the color red and geraniums was her favorite flower.
Joan passed away at the Ringgold County Hospital in Mount Ayr as she fought cancer on February 22, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents Jim and Dorotha Haley; parents-in-law Sandy and Colene Stringham; brother Bob (Linda) Haley; sister Julia Stephens.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband of 57 years Donald; daughter Malinda (Mike) Swank of Benton; son Jamie Stringham of Leon; grandchildren Matthew (Katie) Swank of Skidmore, Mo., Shane (Marissa) Swank of Pleasant Hill and Mitchel Lee Swank of Benton; great grandchildren LeaAnn Marie and Nicholas James Swank of Skidmore, Mo.; sister Mary Jane (Ernie) Garrett of Diagonal; brothers-in-law Don Stephens of Benton and Curt Stringham of Cedar Rapids. Joan also leaves behind many cousins, nieces, nephew, friends and acquaintances to grieve her loss.
Joan was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She is our rock that keeps us all strong. Her love was powerful, and she cherished her time with Malinda and Jamie, her grandchildren and great grandchildren watching them succeed in their lives growing up. She will be remembered enjoying cooking for her family making cookies, pumpkin bars and supporting them in their activities. She did have a competitive side in her, watching her grandsons wrestle and the Iowa Hawkeyes. There will always be a little bit of her in all of us.
Joan also wanted you to remember she would be in front of you to cheer you on, behind you to have your back or next to you so you aren’t alone.
As Joan would say, that’s my life in a hand bucket!
A memorial fund has been established in her name to be decided.