Joan Portz was born Nov. 20, 1935, at Le Mars, the daughter of Andrew and Angela (Buckley) Ahlers. Joan was raised in Remsen and graduated from St. Mary's Catholic High School in 1953. She worked at First Trust and Savings Bank in Remsen upon graduating.
On May 7, 1956 she married Orville M. Portz at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen. They lived in Tacoma, Washington for a short period while Orville served in the U.S. Army. They relocated to Remsen and began farming and operating Remsen Manufacturing and Repair. Joan was employed as an office manager for Happy Siesta Nursing Home for 21 years and as a tax preparer for Phillip Parriott Law Office for approximately 10 years.
Joan was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and the church Guild, Christian Mothers and Twisted Haloes Evangelically Empowered (THEE) Choir. She was an Elderly Peer volunteer and currently serving on the Catholic Charities board of directors. Past Grand Regent of Court Joan of Arc Catholic Daughters of America and had served on St. Mary's Board of Education. She was a precinct election worker for many years.
She enjoyed her family, especially her grandchildren, outings with friends, traveling with family, reading, collectibles and graciously volunteering her time to help others.
Survivors include her husband, Orville of Remsen; two daughters and their husbands, Karen and Eugene Wolf of Remsen and Laurie and Christopher Bates of West Des Moines; two sons and their wives, Steve and Tammy Portz and Randy and Karen Portz, all of Remsen; eight grandchildren, Ryan and Vanessa Wolf of Remsen, Danika, Andrew, Allison and Brady Portz of Remsen, Brandon and Matthew Bates of West Des Moines; three sisters and their husbands, Jean and Gerald Portz and Delores and Raphael Portz, all of Sheldon, and Janiece and Charles Bohlke of Le Mars.
She was preceded in death by her parents; three sisters, Carol Ann and Lois Ahlers, both in infancy, and Patricia Lovely; and a granddaughter, Marissa Wolf.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Remsen with the Rev. James Tigges concelebrating with Msgr. Nicholas J. Ruba, the Revs. Timothy Johnson and Donald Slaven, assisted by by Deacon Ray Portz. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Remsen. Friends may call after 2 p.m. Wednesday. There will be a rosary at 3 p.m. by St. Mary's Guild and the Christian Mothers and a vigil prayer service at 7:30 p.m., all at the Fisch Funeral Home in Remsen.
Casketbearers will be John Portz, Tom Portz, Joe Lovely, Jason Calder, Tim Mousel, Jeff Portz and Steve Wozniak. Honorary bearers will be Ryan Wolf, Danika Portz, Andrew Portz, Vanessa Wolf, Brandon Bates, Allison Portz, Matthew Bates, Brady Portz.