Joan Kissel

AURORA — Joan C. Kissel, 85, of Aurora passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at Aurora.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at First Christian Church in Aurora. The Rev. Bruce Bradley will officiate. Interment will be in the Aurora Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Higby-McQuiston Mortuary. Eastern Star Rites will follow visitation. Memorials may be made to the family to designate at a later date. Condolences may be emailed to the family through the mortuary website at

Joan Charlela Arnett Kissel was born May 28, 1933, in Hamilton County in Aurora at her grandparents’ farm. She was the first of four children born to Orville K. and Katherine Irene (Springer) Arnett. Joan Charlela was named after her grandparents, Joe and Anna (Springer) Rediger and Charles and Lela (Dixon) Arnett.

She was baptized at the Pleasant View Mennonite Church and then in 1953 was baptized at the First Christian Church in Aurora.

Joan attended school in Phillips, District 5 north of Hampton, where she was the only girl in school for a time, and graduated from Hampton High School in 1951. After graduation she moved to Lincoln to pursue a nursing career. Shortly after moving to Lincoln, she returned home to help care for her brother Gale who was diagnosed with cancer.

On April 26, 1953, she married Earl A. Kissel and they made their home in Aurora. Earl’s career with Safeway Stores took the family to Kearney and Ord. While in Kearney, Joan sold Avon and had a babysitting business. In 1962, they moved back to Aurora to join Milo Kissel in his plumbing business. Joan worked with Earl for over 30 years, keeping the books for the business and keeping the shop doors open. Earl passed away on Feb. 18, 2003.

Until her health declined, Joan was an active member of the First Christian Church, Order of Eastern Star Chapter 93, where she held various offices and served as Worthy Matron, CWF, Merry Janes Extension Club, American Legion Auxiliary, Red Hats and helped with the Bloodmobile. She enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s sporting events in earlier years and in later years loved having coffee with her friends. Joan’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her heart and joy. Time spent at grandma’s house was special to her and all her grandchildren.

Survivors are her daughters, Debra A. (James) Willis and Patricia L. (Douglas) Anderson; grandchildren, Shawn M. (Kristina Wade) Anderson, Sara A. Willis and Stephen T. (Tiffany) Anderson; and great-grandchildren, Addison Wade, Ryker Anderson, Nevaeh Miller-Willis, Knoxley Anderson and Hoyt Anderson. She is also survived by a brother, Roger (Ione) Arnett; a sister-in-law, Delores Arnett; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl; her parents, Orville and Irene Arnett and Milo and Ada (Jones) Kissel; two brothers, Gale Arnett and Emmett Arnett; a brother-in-law, Dean Kissel; and sisters-in-law, Donnice Kissel and Shirley (Kissel) Fletcher.

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