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Joan Marie (Knaak) Adkins
(09-09-1934 - 11-07-2009)

     Joan Marie (Knaak) Adkins, 75, passed away at Provena St. Joseph Hospital on Saturday, November 7, 2009, after a brave, three-month battle with cancer. Joan was a resident of Elgin her entire life. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother, and she will be greatly missed by her family and friends who adored her.
     Joan was born in Elgin on September 9, 1934 to Oscar and Lucy (Reinert) Knaak, and had four siblings: Robert, Donald, James, and twin brother, Gene Knaak. On April 4, 1959, she married Gerald “Jerry” Adkins. Joan attended St. Mary Catholic Grade School, and St. Edward and Elgin High Schools. Before her retirement she had worked at Crest Photo Lab, and had also worked for the Elgin National Watch Company in her earlier years. Joan loved children, and also worked as a daycare provider. She enjoyed exercising, and religiously was on her treadmill and stair-climber until recent months when her condition no longer allowed her to do so. She was a strong supporter of the Democratic Party, and spent several hours every day reading, or watching MSNBC so that she could remain up-to-date on national and global events and political issues. Most of all, Joan loved her family. She thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, who never failed to bring a smile to her face, even during her last days when cancer was getting the best of her. They were her “pride and joy”, and they will miss their grandma tremendously.
     Joan is survived by her son, David Adkins (Tracy Brinkman), her daughter Karen (Tom) DuSell of Elgin, four grandchildren, Jordyn, Paige, and Allison Stratman, and Joseph Thomas “J.T.” DuSell, two sisters-in-law, Dorothy Knaak and Ann Knaak, many nieces and nephews, and her adored cat “Maggie”.
     Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry, in 1989, her brothers, Robert, Donald, James and Gene, and her parents, Oscar and Lucy.   
     Funeral mass will be held at 10:30 A.M., Thursday, November 12, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Burial will be private at Mount Hope Cemetery, Elgin. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Laird Funeral Home, Elgin, and Thursday from 9:45 A.M. until the time of mass in the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation.

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