Joan Marie Maier was welcomed into heaven peacefully Tuesday, April 25, 2023, in Kalamazoo. She was born June 9, 1944, in Brighton, MI, daughter of the late Herman and Ruth (Foland) Ludtke.
Daddy's little girl enjoyed growing up in Brighton and has always had a love for animals. Joan was active in many school events, class projects, student council, band, and plays. She attended St. George's Lutheran Church and served as a pianist/secretary for Sunday school. Joan was a member of the Future Teachers of America in high school and was honored to be the Class of 62' Homecoming Queen and Valedictorian.
Joan adored her time with her roommates as a WMU Bronco where she was a member of Gamma Delta. It was here she met pastor, history professor, and author Dr. Paul L. Maier, and they promptly fell in love. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in education and taught third grade at Paw Paw Elementary School.
On June 17, 1967, Joan married Paul Maier who survives. Also surviving are four daughters, Laura (Brett) Alexander, Julie Joan Maier, Krista (Zach) Klepchak, and Katie (Brad Toepper) Maier-Toepper; nine grandchildren: Christine, Nicole, Anna, and Drew Alexander, Rachel and Mark Lugauer, Ben, Adam, and Luke Klepchak; sister, Joyce (Ken) Clark; a niece, and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews; and grand dog, Apollo William.
One of her greatest joys in life was being an extraordinary Grandma…aka "Grammy". Many of those who loved her were blessed by her baking ability, namely cakes, as well as her infectious laugh. Joan loved decorating for holidays (including the much-beloved Halloween orange dinner), celebrating birthdays, and taking pictures. She adored nature and the simple things in life like barns, feeding the birds, and loving on her pets, especially her dog Ellie and donkey Hannibal. Later in life, she enjoyed being a member of the Kalamazoo Garden Club, taking drives in her powder blue 66' Mustang convertible, and especially Zoom calls with friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am Tuesday morning, May 9, 2023, at Zion Lutheran Church, 2122 Bronson Blvd, Kalamazoo MI 49008, with The Reverend Timothy Seeber officiating, clergy are invited to robe and process. Joan's family will receive guests at the church beginning at 10:00am and again following the service during a light reception. Graveside services at West Oshtemo Cemetery will follow at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Binder Park Zoo, the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, or SPCA of Southwest Michigan. To view Joan's personalized web page and leave a favorite memory, please visit https://www.langelands.com