Joni N. Quaas

Joni N. Quaas, nee Heskett, 57, of Belleville, Ill., born Monday, January 20, 1958, in Belleville, Ill., died Monday, June 15, 2015, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis, Mo., after a courageous battle with complications after a stem cell transplant for Amyloidosis. Shortly before her death, she was in the presence of family and friends who celebrated her life with the sharing of stories and anecdotes.

She was a "Mother" of mothers. She was her children's cheerleader, confidant, eager advocate and tireless supporter of their activities-athletic events, school programs and recitals. Family was paramount with Joni and she organized dinners, outings and fun for all.

Joni was "VERY" social, she would talk with anyone. You could always expect her store and grocery shopping to last one to four hours as she would befriend all sorts of individuals.

Joni loved the water and would swim daily, if possible. Her childhood was spent at Sundowner's Pool. She was a competitive diver in college and taught diving for several years thereafter. The family had numerous experiences of water volleyball with her and friends. She was an avid competitor in anything she did.

Joni developed a passion for photography. She was always a 'picture-taker' but became an accomplished image-catcher. She explored parts of the levee in Cahokia, secluded ponds and bogs in Sauget, and horses in west Belleville, and took wonderful wildlife and nature photos in those locales. Family gatherings were also well-documented.

Whatever Joni did, she did with a passion-life coach and cheerleader for her children and husband, of course, but her neighborhood and community also benefited.

Joni was a graduate of the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She loved working with and teaching children in the preschool year and those children loved her in return.

Joni is survived by her husband, Dr. Robert Quaas of Belleville, Ill.; her children, Cori Halbert of Belleville, Ill., Jay Martin of Tampa, Fla., Lynn Martin of Belleville, Ill., Edward Quaas of Belleville, Ill.; her granddaughter, Andi Halbert; her parents, John W. and Dorothy P., nee Crim, Heskett of Belleville, Ill.; her brother, Marty Heskett of Belleville, Ill.; her sisters, Janet (Tom) Kammann of Baneberry, Tenn., Karen (Charlie) Farver of Denver, Colo., Christy (Joann Radil) Heskett of St. Louis, Mo.; brothers-in-law and sisters- in-law, Janet (Danny) Prosser of Topeka, Kan., Charles (Billie Jo) Quaas of Alburnett, Iowa; nieces and nephews, Kurt (Booth) Kammann (Karly, Kelsey, Kristopher), Scott (Kristen) Kammann (Emma, Carson, Addison), Mindi (Jake) Stokely (Hannah, Chance), Raeanna Heskett (Tessa, Ava, Gunnar), Alyssa Heskett, Perri (August) Ritter, Dax Gitcho, Alicia (Tad) Sarver, Amanda (Andrew) Phillips, Austin (Shelby) Prosser, Todd Quaas (Tiffany, Todd, Tony), Chad (Connie) Quaas (Dakota and Dylan; special friends, Donna Veile, Joan Menges, Cathy Lisch, Barb Busby, Ozzie and Joe Lomax, and many others.

Special thanks from family to Gerald Montroy and Father Clyde Grogan.

Joni's go-to spirit will be missed by many, especially by her husband and children.