Phyllis “Joan” Keefer, 97, of Elwood, passed away on Dec. 6, 2020 at St. Vincent Mercy Hospital after a long, well-lived life.
She was born May 11, 1923 in Grant County, the daughter of Gail and Mildred (Phillips) Malott.
Joan was a 1941 graduate of Somerset High School and attended Indiana Business College. She later received her Master’s Degree from Ball State Teacher’s College in Muncie.
Joan was a teacher at Oakland Elementary School in Elwood for 28 years and retired in 1992. She truly loved teaching and was well-respected in the school system. She was also nominated for a WTHR “Shining Star” Award for excellence in teaching.
Joan married Gilbert A. “Gib” Keefer on Feb. 14, 1981, and they shared over 31 years of marriage together before his passing in 2012.
Joan was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church in Elwood. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sigma Phi Gamma sorority.
She enjoyed watching I.U. sports and Indiana Pacers basketball. Joan was also an avid cat lover; kept up to date on current news; and enjoyed watching CNN and Jeopardy. Joan was known for always having a smile on her face and a pleasant word for those she encountered. More than anything, she loved spending time with her family, and she was blessed with many special caregivers in recent years at her home. She will be greatly missed.
Joan’s family legacy includes three children, Bobby Widmeyer of Indiana-polis, Bonnie (Steve) Colson of Noblesville, and Barbara Bishop (fiance’ Don Argus) of Cincinnati, Ohio; three step-children, Phil (Susan) Keefer, Jayne Rice, and Nancy (Jesse) Williams; sister, Betty Brinegar of Urbana, Ill.; half-sister, Sharon Miltenberger; five grandchildren, Shelli Widmeyer, Pastor Troy Wilson, LaDale (Angela) Widmeyer, Dr. Stephanie Colson Sharpe, and Marcus (Bethany) Colson; several step-grandchildren, step great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands, Robert E. Widmeyer and Gilbert “Gib” Keefer; two brothers, Ronald D. Malott and Rex Edward Malott; and half-brother, Larry Malott.
A graveside funeral service celebrating Joan’s life will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 at the Elwood City Cemetery with Pastor Roberta Cook officiating. Burial will follow the service. Health precautions for the safety of the family and attendees will include face coverings and social distancing at the cemetery. A video recording of the graveside service will also be available after 6 p.m. Friday at copherfeslermay.com on Joan’s online obituary page.
A memorial service will be planned in the spring of 2021 at the First United Methodist Church in Elwood when health and safety precautions are relaxed.
Copher-Fesler-May Fun-eral Home has been entrusted with Joan’s funeral arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at copherfeslermay.com.