Joan Delores Clark was born June 25, 1935, in Sioux City, IA, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Porter Clark.
Joan loved fashion and design her entire life. As a teen she worked many jobs in order to put cashmere sweaters and poodle skirts on lay-away so she always had a fun new wardrobe in the pipeline (she may have complained when her favorite sister, Judy, would “borrow” and wear them first, but secretly she loved sharing everything with Jude).
Joan graduated from Sioux City Heelan High School in 1953. Using her savings she bought a 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster, hand-stitched new blue velvet seat covers and headed west to California. She studied interior design and photography at UCLA. Picnics on the ocean beaches were a favorite she relished again later in life when living in Laguna Woods, CA.
Joan moved back to Sioux City and worked as a photographer at the Younkers Photography Studio, which provided special photoshoot trips to New York City and North Carolina, further fueling her spirit of adventure.
On February 9, 1957, Joan went to dinner at Club Debonair with her parents and best friend, Joanne Stevens Marx. A handsome fellow named Ty Fideler asked her to dance. She twirled into his arms and there she stayed. They married soon thereafter and started their life together in Spencer. They formed a dear group of friends whom they danced with at LaDanza on Saturday nights, played in bridge clubs, bowling leagues, four-ball eightsome golf nights, cocktail parties, down-hill ski clubs taking train trips to Aspen and more.
Joan and Ty had five children: Jeff, Kim, John, Clark and Cathy. As Joan and Ty’s siblings were marrying and having children at the same time, they were able to share many life experiences with the Wards, Clarks, Mike Fidelers, Moronys, Wiedenfelds and countless other friends. Special moments will always be treasured memories at the home Joan and Ty designed and built with dear architect friend John Galvin at 1917 W 11th St on the golf course. The kitchen was often the stage for her brother, Bob, and his superlative joke/storytelling, providing hours of laughs for the entire clan.
Joan was busy at home with five little kids yet had a passion for community involvement. In the late 1970s she helped create the area’s first program for people with disabilities and served as charter president and board member of the Sunshine Worker’s, Inc for many years. In addition she was charter president of the Spencer Junior Federated Women’s Club, state art chairperson for the Iowa Junior Federated Women’s Club, family living chairperson of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, member of the Amity Federated Women’s Club and the Sacred Heart Altar Society, chairperson of the Clay County Garden Club, member of Spencer Area Association of Business and Industry and member of Spencer Chamber Ambassadors. Her love of art and events fueled her involvement with Arts on Grand and Backyard Bach and Blues.
The Clay County Fair Floriculture Center was a yearly highlight, competing in flower arranging and all of the table design exhibits for 50+ years. Since every project was a family affair, the entire family enjoyed late night access to the fairgrounds and first-in-line access to Tom Thumb Donuts.
In 1977 Joan purchased the Walls Alive business on Grand Avenue in Spencer and established Studio J, her interior design business. She loved the brick and green tile building at 101 W 6th Street and soon purchased it for her studio, employing a full staff of designers, assistants and bookkeepers. She opened a second location in Okoboji in 1984. Joan traveled with her designers to markets in Dallas and Chicago every year; she relished the new fabrics, materials, designs and experiences that fed her creativity.
Joan adored her grandkids and was giddy planning their adventures together – tea parties and picnics, scavenger hunts, tree climbing and even braving the tallest water slides.
Joan lived her final years fighting Lewy body dementia at Accura Healthcare of Milford, where she had the most boldly painted room and found dear friends whom she loved and considered family in the incredible, caring staff. She began hospice October 14, 2021 and was surrounded by family until she passed on Halloween – leaving this earth of course on a day of costumes and celebration.
Proceeded in death by her parents; beloved husband Ty; brother and sister-in-law Bob and Mary Clark; brother-in-law Smilin’ Dave Brownley; brother-in-law Jim Ward; sister- and brother-in-law Darlene and Jim Morony; sister- and brother-in-law Edna Mae and John Weidenfeld; nephew Tom Wiedenfeld; nephew-in-law John Schulte and grandnephew Clark Schulte. Left to cherish her memory are her children Jeff, Kim & husband Kevin Robinson, John, Clark, and Sheba (Cathy) & husband Darren Ennis; grandchildren Jay, Kyle and Lauren Robinson; Jake and Jordan Fideler; Clark's step-children Michael, Madeleine and Gabrielle Pope.
Joan liked anyone and anything with flair and had a disdain for the boring. She was passionate about having fun, trying new things and being creative in every possible way. We vow to honor her by celebrating the special unique moments of every day. Moscow mule cheers to you, Joanie. We love you.
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