Please join us in celebrating the life of Joan Alene (Clark) Rhea on Friday, June 9, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in the Nardin Church in Nardin, Oklahoma where she was a longtime member. Joan was born to Edward and Ruth (Gaster) Clark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 14, 1947, and peacefully entered heaven on May 30, 2023 after a brief battle with cancer. Her final days were spent surrounded by loved ones, telling stories, and sharing laughter. Joan was never at a loss for words or humor, even while fighting through her pain.
Joan’s family moved to Wellington, Kansas, where she attended all her school years. She graduated from Wellington High School in 1965. Joan married her first husband, Larry Foster, and through this union, she welcomed her first son, Chris Alan Foster, on November 8, 1966. They later moved to Manitou Springs, Colorado, where Joan began a lifelong love for the mountains. After moving back to Wellington, Joan developed a love for drag racing. She enjoyed the thrill of racing her ‘67 Mustang down the strip. The marriage ended, but Joan was blessed with a son who would stay by her side.
Later on, Joan met and married her love, Mickey Rhea, in his parents’ home in Nardin, Oklahoma on October 14, 1972. The couple welcomed twin boys, Kenneth James and Edward Gene on February 22, 1974. The family made their home in Deer Creek, where she served on the city council and was elected Mayor. Many weekends were spent camping and enjoying the outdoors.
Joan had many talents, but her specialty was cooking for a crowd. Her Christmas cookies quickly became famous. She was co-owner of The Cook Shack in Deer Creek where she shared her joy of cooking with many happy customers. Joan also worked for the Deer Creek - Lamont Elementary School in the cafeteria, preparing food for children. She later went on to manage the Homeland Grocery Store and Braum’s in Blackwell. Joan knew how to put in a hard day’s work while caring for her family and spending time with her friends. She was a prime example of being a servant to others.
As Joan’s body became tired from all her years of hard work, she found hobbies to keep her active and creative. She developed a love and talent for quilting. She quilted with clubs in Deer Creek and Nardin. She took pride in her designs and earned many 1st place ribbons for her work. Joan and Mickey also enjoyed traveling together, but she was not one who needed a map. She had a passion for the adventurous side of life. They would veer off the beaten path to discover rare sites and unique treasures. They visited the Rocky Mountains, the Tetons, and many national parks all over the United States.
Joan was a genuine, one-of-a-kind character. She could fill a room with laughter through her sassy spirit, witty banter, and no-nonsense approach to life. All who had the privilege of knowing her felt her unwavering love and acceptance. She could find the good in all situations, even the ones that were most difficult. Joan was a woman people will remember for years to come because she could hug you tightly, make you laugh, and warm your heart. Delighting in people and conversation, she loved big and strong. She opened her house to anyone who needed a place to call home. Joan played the role of “mom” to many throughout her life, always lending a helping hand with an overflowing heart of gold.
Joan’s pride and joy of her life were her 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was a loving and supportive “Granny” to each of them. The world was not ready to lose her because she made it a better place, and her presence will be dearly missed.
Joan is preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Ruth Clark; siblings, Barbara Clark and Kathleen Rhea; and son, Eddie Rhea.
She is survived by her husband, Mickey Rhea of Medford; sons, Chris Foster (Jana Boyer) of Pond Creek and Kenny (Lisa) Rhea of Tonkawa; daughter, Becky (Jerry) Day of Indiana; brother-in-law, Ricky Rhea of Medford; daughter-in-law, Deresa Rhea of Medford; siblings, James (Candy) Clark and Will Clark of Wellington, Kansas, and Rebecca (Gary) Yeagar of Blackwell; grandchildren, Kendra (Riker Miller) of Montgomery, Texas, Kaleb (Claire) Foster of Medford, Kendall (Randi) Foster of Pond Creek, Kahle Rhea of Lamont, Kayden Rhea of Deer Creek, Alexis (Jon) Lapczenski, Ashton (Kevin) Howard, Bradyn (Melissa) Keltner, Breckyn (Kaitlyn) Butterfield all of Tonkawa, Abby (Ryan) Keltner of Perry, Aryn (Brandon) Kitchell of Wichita, Kansas, Makayla Howard of Ponca City, Andrea, Abbalynn and Mickey Rhea of Medford, Aerin Rhea of Ponca City, Aubrey Day of Sand Springs, Telara Day of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Zoetta Day of Ponca City; her great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
“Joan will remain in the hearts and memories of many friends and loved ones”.
Lanman Funeral Home will accept memorials donated to the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.
Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Medford. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.