Joan Hester, nee Whitchurch, 87, of Collinsville, IL, born April 20, 1929 in Centralia, IL, died Wednesday, October 12, 2016 in Eden Village Care Center, Glen Carbon, IL. Mrs. Hester received a BS in Nursing and a BS in Psychology from SIU-E in 1980 and was a psychiatric nurse for 15 years at the Kettler Center in St. Elizabeth's Hospital (now Gateway) in Granite City, IL. But she was mainly known as Granny to her family of 5 children, 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She was a wonderful cook, baker and seamstress, passing along those skills to many in her family. She was also a faithful member of Meadow Heights Baptist Church in Collinsville, IL for the past 53 years. She was preceded in death in 2007 by her husband Cotton, whom she married May 7, 1948, her father and mother Harry and Lula Whitchurch of Centralia, IL, and her brother David "Louie" (Raydell) Whitchurch of Troy, IL. Surviving are her five children, Michael (Linda) Hester of Collinsville, IL, Suzanne (Daniel) Patterson of Troy, IL, Jonathan (Kelly) Hester of Glen Carbon, IL, Jananne (Jeffrey) Clemens of Downers Grove, IL, and Marianne (Patrick) Doyle of Edwardsville, IL; grandchildren Andrea, Ben, Sadie, Sara, Stephen, Erin, Zack, Peter, Caitlin, triplets Emma, JJ, and Zoe, Patrick, Kelsey and Megan; great grandchildren Rudy, Vernie, Frankie, Bella, Wyatt, Griffin, Troy, Kali, Owen and Jackson. Also surviving are her brother Jerrold (Pat) Whitchurch of Centralia, IL, her sister Shirley (Bill) Prewitt of Benton, IL and many nieces and nephews. Joan was a generous supporter of her church, many veterans and other charitable organizations, her family and others in need. She always said that you can't out give God. Memorials are suggested to Meadow Heights Baptist Church in Collinsville, designated for World Hunger through the SBC where 100% will be used to feed people here and abroad. Generous to the end, Joan donated her body to the St. Louis University School of Medicine. Arrangements were handled by St. Louis Cremation. A memorial service celebrating Joan's life and legacy will be held at Meadow Heights Baptist Church, 1498 Vandalia, Collinsville, IL 62234 at 11:30 am on Saturday, October 22, 2016, with Rev. Dr. Jim Donahue officiating.
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