On Tuesday, December 22, 2020, Joanell McClellan, loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend passed away at home at the age of 70. Private graveside services will be held at Waveland Cemetery. Donations may be directed to Prairie City Christian Reformed Church or Help A Heart. Condolences may be left for the family at www.coburnfuneralhomes.com
Joanell was born on August 21,1950 in Grand Rapids, MI, the second child of Harold and Joanne (Bult) Heemstra. At the age of 10 her family moved to Prairie City, IA where she attended Prairie City Christian Grade School and Prairie City High School. On April 3, 1970 she married Ronald McClellan at the Prairie City Christian Reformed Church. Together they farmed north of Prairie City while raising their son John. Joanell started working for the Iowa Department of Revenue in 1985 and the family moved into town the same year.
Joanell was a mother to one, grandma to four, and 'Auntie' to her nieces and nephews. Growing up she had a passion for music which came through in her piano, organ, clarinet and guitar playing. Joanell had been a member of JOY, Coffee Break, and My Brother's Keeper Quilt Group. She continually served others. Joanell had a heart for the hurting and would bless them with food, cards and other encouragement. For 16 years she made weekly trips to Ankeny to provide loving support and care to her nephew Archie.
As much as Joanell loved serving and volunteering, her nieces, nephews and grandkids were the light of her life. She also had numerous honorary grandchildren - neighbors, kids at church and anyone else who was lucky enough to walk into her life. Joanell was known as being quietly, yet extravagantly, generous. She is counted as a valuable confidante and a formidable prayer warrior. Those who knew her can testify to her great faith and knowledge and love of scripture. Her friends and family will carry an unfillable void. We count ourselves blessed to have walked a bit of our journey together.
Those left to cherish her memory are her husband of 50 years, Ron; son John and wife Rochelle (VanZante); and their children Zachary and Jamie (Bailey), Jacob, and Betsy. Also surviving are her sisters Kristen Eekhoff, Mary (Barry) Nikkel, and sister-in-law Lori Heemstra along with nephews and nieces Dan (Tricia) Nikkel, Jennifer (Cory Wilcox) Heemstra, Erik (Julie) Nikkel, AnnMarie (Sean) Barry, Archie Eekhoff, Susie (Clyde) Birks, Andy (Krista) Heemstra, Karen (Andrew) Beck, Michael (Erin) Eekhoff and 13 great-nieces and nephews.
Joanell was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Mike Heemstra, brother-in-law Mike Eekhoff, nephew Tommy John Eekhoff, and her parents-in-law Marvin and Evelyn McClellan.
Joanell would have loved nothing more than to see all the people she treasured gathering to celebrate who she was to them. Her prayer for each of you was that your relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ would grow and deepen.
Ron, John, Kris, Mary, and families, I am so very sorry to hear of Joanell's passing.
Joanell was such a happy and kind human being.
You are all in my prayers.
I am so very sorry to hear of Joanell's passing. She was in my brother Alan's class and that connection brought her to always greet me with friendship and compassion. Every time we visited I came away feeling blessed by the encounter. What a loss! Such a lovely lady. My condolences.
I worked with Joanell and after retirement she was part of our Lunch Bunch. She always had a smile and could make you feel better after visiting with her. Her strong faith will always be remembered. Prayers to Ron and family.
I have known Joanell for many years as a friend. She was the most kind and caring person I’ve known. She was like an aunt to my children too. They always loved going to her house. I will greatly miss her and our long, chatty phone calls.
Joanell and I used to play when I visited Grandma Wiggins. She was a loving, kind person. Ron, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Her spirit touched many lives.
What a special blessing Joanell was! Sucn and uplifting spirit and a joy to work with. And how Norm and I enjoyed the company of Ron and Joanell upon occasion at the Cardinal Inn. Opal Current
I knew Joanell at Revenue. She was a wonderful person, always smiling, and gave me comfort without saying a word. It was a pleasure to have known her. So sorry for your loss.
My memories of Joanell are of our childhood together in Grand Rapids, where we lived across the street from each other. Along with Kris, Joanell and I would play with our Betsy McCall or Barbie dolls, roller skate, and play hide and seek with other neighborhood children. Joanell taught me to enjoy raw rhubarb. I even switched schools so we could walk together. I was heartbroken when they moved to Iowa, but Joanell and I were pen pals for awhile, so we're able to ease into bring apart.
I'm so glad I'll have a chance to catch up with her when I get to heaven. It staggers my mind to think of the wonderful things she is experiencing right now, especially seeing her Lord Jesus face to face! What a glorious hope we have as believers.
Thoughts & pray to Joanell's family. I worked with her at Revenue for many years. You could not find a nicer person! Heaven gained a true angel!
Mary & Kris... so sorry to hear of your sister's passing. As childhood friends I remember Jonell as a very friendly person even though we were younger. She still took time to talk to us. Her smile lit up a room! My sympathy to you Mary & Kris and your families.
In His Love, Karen Umble (Tibboel)
So sorry Ron, you and Joanell shine over the years with your kindness. God bless you.
Ron sorry to hear of your loss. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. Mike and Carolyn Danley
She was one of kind, her and Ron was the first from our church family to meet Stuart. She always made him feel so welcome. She will be missed.
We love you Auntie!! Words cannot express how much you will be missed. We are so thankful to have been counted among those who knew and loved you ❤
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