Mary “Joan” (Pestinger) Eichenberger, 91, of Steinauer, Nebraska was born on October 1, 1929 near Pawnee City, Nebraska, the youngest child of John and Dora (Lee) Pestinger.
She attended Lower 4th Branch, District 19 and graduated from Pawnee City High School. She was united in marriage to Kenneth Eichenberger on December 15, 1946 by Rev. August Bock at Salem Evangelical and Reformed Church near Steinauer. Four children were blessed to this union: Ken Jr., Dale, Linda (Robidoux) and Mark.
Joan shared in many endeavors with her husband, Ken Sr. Together they farmed the Eichenberger family homestead, had a poultry business for many years, raised cattle for market, were manager and bookkeeper for the Steinauer Farmer’s Cooperative and were employed at the Beatrice State Developmental Center until their retirement in 1991. Amid these endeavors Joan’s creative outlet was using her artistry and baking skills to create unique cakes for many of the community weddings and celebrations. Her first cake was for her parents’ 50th anniversary in 1960. Throughout her life she loved discovering both her and her husband’s Ken Sr. family genealogy, traveling around the country collecting information and forming connections with distant family. Christmas was a special time for Joan. She always decorated inside and out to celebrate with family. Her special treasure was her Christmas Village with lights that still occupy an entire room in their home. Joan, with the help of her husband and sons, made a replica of Salem United Church of Christ where the family attends. It still stands in their front yard on Highway 4. During the summers, Joan thoroughly enjoyed riding the lawnmower, even at 90 years old.
Joan passed away on April 10, 2021 at Colonial Acres in Humboldt, Nebraska.
She was preceded in death by her parents John & Dora Pestinger, brother John & wife Ann, three sisters, Golda & husband Marion “Bart” Bartholomew Sr., Opal and husband Roy Dahlgren, Patricia and great grandson Noah Eichenberger.
Joan is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 74 years, Kenneth Sr. of Steinauer, NE, and children: Ken Jr. and wife Sue of Pawnee City, Dale and wife Becky of Steinauer, Linda Robidoux and husband Dan of Independence, MO and Mark of Beatrice, NE, 9 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, 1 great great granddaughter, nieces and nephews.
Services 10:00 a.m., Thursday, April 15, 2021 at Salem U.C.C. Church , Steinauer, Nebraska. Officiating Pastor Eric Biehl and Pastor Ken Tubbesing. The service was live streamed on the Wherry Mortuary/Wherry Monument Facebook page. It can also be viewed on the link at the bottom of Joan's webpage. Visitation on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from Noon to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends from 5-7 p.m. at Wherry Mortuary, 919 G Street, Pawnee City, Nebraska. Interment at the Salem U.C.C. Cemetery, Steinauer, Nebraska. Masks are required at the service and visitation. Memorials to the Salem U.C.C. Church. Online condolences may be left at www.wherrymortuary.com.
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