While Johnna Ewing Hancock lost her battle to kidney disease on December 29, 2013, there is much more to the story that was her life than the starting and ending dates of her life.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, January 3, 2014, at the James O’Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal. Rev. Tim Goodman will officiate. Burial will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Hannibal, MO.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the James O’Donnell Funeral Home.
To Johnna, a life lived well was more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes, the pieces fit together like the tiny pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, haphazard, and hard to fit into place. It is important to focus not on her birth, or her death, but to the vibrant life that came between those events.
Born December 16, 1952, Johnna was the daughter of William D. Ewing (Sally Anne Ewing) and Lora Livesay (Lee Livesay). A 1970 graduate of Hannibal High School, she chose to move away from Hannibal and seek independence in Quincy, Ill.
While Johnna wasn’t lucky in love – twice married and twice divorced – she was blessed with children she loved with all her heart. She yearned to be closer to her grandchildren, and to share stories of the “olden days, waaaay back before the invention of the wheel.”
A voracious reader, a gifted singer, and an unrepentant opinionated mama, Johnna always called it as she saw it. Although she was sometimes wrong, she never stopped advocating for her position if she felt she was right – which was usually the case. She enjoyed cooking and long, meandering conversations. A gifted singer – and a bit of a ham in front of a microphone – she sang at every opportunity while her health allowed. Although Johnna never pursued writing as a vocation, she was a gifted scribe, and enjoyed writing short stories and the occasional poem.
Before diabetes zapped her strength and caused her eternal optimism to wane, she was quick with a joke, and freely offered advice – whether it was requested or not.
Becoming a follower of her Lord, Jesus Christ, in 1976, she grew closer to God in the months leading up to her death, and was at peace with her decision to stop dialysis treatments because she knew where she was going after her life on earth ended.
Graced with natural salesmanship, Johnna worked in sales for several companies over the course of a 25 year career, most notably for Sears in Quincy, Ill, then later for Swiss Colony in Hannibal. Setting, then shattering, sales records, was all in a day’s work for a tenacious sales person who clearly understood how to match customer needs to appropriate products and services.
Johnna leaves behind a unique and eclectic family – her son Ken Speegle (Becky) of Hamilton, Ill, her daughter, Corinne Shieferdecker of Quincy, Ill, and son Carl Hancock of Quincy, Ill., along with 7 grandchildren: Shelby Roth, Brady Martin and Maverick Dasch, all of Quincy, Ill., and Christian, Lora, Michael and Patrick Speegle, all of Hamilton, Ill.
In addition, Johnna is survived by one brother, Billy Ewing (Brenda) of St. Charles, Mo., along with 6 sisters, Sally Anne Ewing of Hannibal, Patricia Tucker (Steve) of Phoenix, Arizona, Robin Humrick of California, Jana McKenna (Mike) of Hershey, Pennsylvania, Andrea Tate (Mark) and Angela Dillman (Daryl), both of Hannibal. In addition, Johnna is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Eric Sprinkle, a cherished friend of 25 years who was with her through many of the most challenging moments of her life, up to and including her death, survives in Quincy, Ill.
Johnna was preceded in death by a son, John Loren Speegle, in infancy; her parents, William D. Ewing, Sr. and Lora Livesay; 1 sister, Linda Wilkins; and 4 brothers, Arthur “Bud” Greniger, Butch Greniger, Michael Ewing and Jimmy Ewing.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Family in care of the James O’Donnell Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made and video tribute viewed at www.jamesodonnellfuneralhome.com