Joann Darlene Heusted Meenen
Joann Darlene Heusted Meenen was born on June 28, 1929 in Clay Center, Kansas to Warren V. and Bertha McNeal Heusted. She passed away on February 4, 2022 at her home in Topeka, Kansas where she lived with her daughter, Linda Brown.
She attended schools in Clay Center and graduated with the honor of co-valedictorian of her class at Clay County Community High School in 1947. Following graduation, she completed business courses at Brown Mackie Business in Topeka. She then worked in Topeka at Seltsam-Hanni Insurance Co. until her marriage. High school sweethearts, she and Donald Wayne Meenen were married on August 13, 1950 in Clay Center, Kansas. Their first year of marriage was spent in Manhattan while Don completed his senior year at Kansas State University. During that year she worked at a bank in Manhattan. After Don’s graduation they settled on his grandfather’s farm north of Clifton (the Kernal Drake farm) where she learned and adapted to farm life and being a farmer’s wife. Clifton was their home until 1986, when they moved to Osbourne, Kansas before returning to North Central Ks and living in Greenleaf, Ks for 23 years. In 2010, she and Don moved to Topeka to live with daughter, Linda and her family.
To this union were born five children who survive: twin daughters, Nancy (Terry) Moser and Linda Brown, of Topeka; three sons, Doug (Karen), Topeka; Mike (Sarah), Linn; and Pat(Micki) Meenen, of Hiawatha. In 1972 they became foster parents to Albert (Julia) West, Topeka who survives and Bill (Charlotte) West, who preceded her in death in 2021. Other survivors include; brother, Leroy (Sandy) Heusted of Surprise, Arizona; sister-in-laws Marian Heusted, Topeka, Dora Meenen Morris of Wamego and brother-in-law, Edward Meenen of Clay Center; 16 grandchildren: Regina (Jens) Muncheberg; Tracy (Brad) Rose; Bryon (Caitlin) Hoerner; Heather (Michael) Cunningham; Jeremy (Errin) Brown, Kristi Brown Harrell; Mark (Miranda) Meenen, Rachel Meenen; Ashli (Ricardo) Melon; Kyle (Shelby) Meenen; Shane (Emily) Meenen; Matthew Meenen, Michael (Madison) Meenen and Sarah Meenen; Justin West, Jaimie (Micheal) West Ingwerson; 26great grandchildren and 5 great great grandchildren.
Her husband of nearly 69 years, Donald Wayne Meenen preceded her in death in 2019. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Warren V. and Bertha McNeal Heusted; brother, Warren V. Heusted, Jr; brother-in-law, Col. Raymond E. Morris; son-in-law, Randy Brown; foster son, Bill West.
She loved cooking and baking for her family. “Can Grandma bring her rolls?” was a frequent comment from her grandchildren. Planting and tending to a garden and flower beds also brought her great joy. Family gatherings were opportunities to prepare and share a feast lovingly prepared. After moving to Topeka, she remained active caring for the combined household which included an active four year old great grandson, Kaden. Attending grandchildren activities was a favorite pastime. She was very proud and supportive of all her children and their families.
She was a regular contributor to the community newspaper, as she enjoyed writing and recording the family events as they occurred. Her birthday cards always included a special personal written message. Many days when she could no longer do the cooking and baking, she could be found in her chair reading her Kindle book, watching Hallmark movies and Royals baseball in season, and don’t forget Wheel of Fortune.
She was baptized on Easter Sunday of 1946 at First Methodist Church in Clay Center. After moving to Clifton, she was actively involved in her church, Clifton Presbyterian Church teaching Sunday School, participating with Don in the Mariner’s group, and singing in the choir. She was a member of the Lutheran church in Greenleaf serving on the altar committee and assisting with fellowship activities. After moving to Topeka, she became of member of the Rossville Methodist Church. She could be counted on to always have some “goodies” to share.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Avalon Hospice, Visiting Angels or Rossville Methodist Church in care of Piper Funeral Home.
Services will be held at Rossville Methodist Church on Saturday, February 12th at 2:00 p.m. Masks will be required at the church. Inurnment will be at a later date in Riverdale Cemetery at Clifton, Kansas.