Joan DeWitt Obituary

Joan  DeWitt
Joan DeWitt

January 1, 1931 - July 6, 2024
Born in Madison Township, Iowa
Resided in West Des Moines, Iowa
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Harlan “Joan" DeWitt, 93, died on July 6, 2024, at her home in West Des Moines, Iowa. Joan was born on January 1, 1931, in Madison Township, Iowa, to Maxine and Roy Faulkner. Joan grew up on a farm and attended Lacey High School. She was a 4-year letter winner and started as a forward for their state-qualifying girls basketball team. Joan was an accomplished vocalist and pianist competing in state vocal contests and singing on a weekly radio show as a teenager with her future sister-in-law. She graduated as valedictorian of her class and then attended Iowa State Teachers College.

She married her childhood sweetheart, Norval DeWitt, on December 23, 1950, at Oskaloosa Central Methodist Church. They lived in Harcourt, Iowa from 1950-1953 where she taught in the elementary school while Norval was a high school teacher and coach. Norval then served in the Army and Joan was fortunate to “serve” with him. They were stationed in Texas and Kansas, where Joan worked as a typist for a local newspaper, an elevator operator, a salesclerk and eventually taught sixth grade on the base where her most famous student was Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Later in life she was able to reconnect with him and was honored to attend the Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa as his guest.

In 1955, Joan and Norval moved to Urbandale, Iowa, where Norval was an educator and coach, with Joan serving as chaperone for his girls teams. Joan sang in the choir at Immanuel UMC, and later Aldersgate UMC. In 1969, they moved to Rockwell City, Iowa, where Joan was a member of the United Methodist Women, the chancel choir, and directed the bell choir. She was a substitute elementary teacher for many years. Joan and Norval were both avid golfers and enjoyed traveling and golfing around the country in their retirement years.

Joan cherished her role as a homemaker, finding her greatest joy in her daughters and their families. She excelled as a seamstress, crafting numerous dresses, outfits, and gowns for her three daughters. She loved sports and games, from basketball to backyard croquet, and cards to board games. Her daughters and grandchildren learned invaluable life lessons by observing her steadfast faith and positive, diligent approach to each day. Joan's constant encouragement, active participation, and talent for baking her grandchildren's favorite treats were always cherished. Her pumpkin bread and peanut clusters were all-time favorites.

Joan will be missed by her three daughters, Debra (Dennis) Anderson, Prairie Village, KS, Kathryn Morrow, Urbandale, IA, and Brenda Morrow, Fishers, IN. Her six grandchildren Paige (Chase) Darling, Trophy Club, TX, Emily (Keith) Fretz, Idaho Springs, CO, Alexander (Sara) Morrow, Oklahoma City, OK, Andrew (Madison) Morrow, great-grandchildren (Sofia and Cameron), Pendleton, IN, Jackson (Michael) Morrow, York, PA and Tyler Morrow, Indianapolis, IN. She was preceded in death by her husband, Norval, of 61 years, parents, Roy and Maxine Faulkner, and sons-in-law Stephen Morrow and Randy Garth.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3600 75th St. Urbandale, IA 50322. Online condolences will be welcomed at Iles Funeral Home at

A funeral service will be held at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 3600 75th Street, Urbandale, Iowa 50322 at 10:30am, Friday, July 12, 2024. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service, 9:30am to 10:30am. A reception will follow the service in the church hall. The family will meet at New Sharon Friends Cemetery, New Sharon, Iowa 50207 for burial at 3:00pm Friday.






Aldersgate United Methodist Church
3600 - 75th Street
Urbandale, IA US 50322
Friday, July 12, 2024
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
- Show more -
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
3600 - 75th Street
Urbandale, IA US 50322
Friday, July 12, 2024
10:30 AM
- Show more -
New Sharon Friends Cemetery
Hwy 63
New Sharon, IA US 50207
Friday, July 12, 2024
3:00 PM
- Show more -


Aldersgate United Methodist Church
3600 - 75th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322