Josephine A. “JoAnn” Esch – Independence

INDEPENDENCE-  Josephine Ann “JoAnn” Esch, 88, of Independence, IA died on Friday November 6, 2020 at Lexington Estates in Independence, IA.

JoAnn was born on June 28, 1932, in Oelwein, IA, the daughter of Joseph and Opal (Underwood) Aliano. She attended St. Mary’s Elementary School and was a 1950 graduate of Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Oelwein. During her high school summers, she worked as a nurse’s aide at People’s Memorial Hospital in Independence. She went on to attended St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Rochester, MN. On Dec. 26, 1951 she married Harold Eugene Esch at St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence, and they made their home on a farm east of Independence. JoAnn loved helping on the farm and was often found taking care of the livestock. Harold passed away in 1984, and JoAnn moved from the farm into Independence. JoAnn worked at B & D Services in Independence for fifteen years helping those that needed assistance in their daily lives.

She is survived by her children; Steve (Patty) Esch, Independence, IA and Brad (Laurie) Esch, Independence, IA, three daughters; Roxann Henderson, Davidson, NC, Kathy (Doug) Holt, Independence, IA, and Jenny Reuther, Independence, IA, a son-in-law; Donald Curry, Independence, IA., nine grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, a sister Barbara Fortney, and many nieces and nephews.

JoAnn is preceded in death by her father, Joseph Aliano, her mother and step-father, Opal and Phil Bwalwan, her husband, Harold Esch, a daughter, Debbie Curry, a son, Scott Esch, a son-in-law, Dennis Henderson, a granddaughter, Lisa Henderson, and one brother; Bill Bwalwan, and a sister Frances Meeks.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday November 21, 2020 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence, IA, with Rev. David Beckman presiding. Burial will be held at St. John’s Cemetery in Independence. A Visitation will be held on Friday November 20, 2020, from 5 PM until 8 PM at the Reiff Family Center in Independence. Face mask will be required to attend the visitation and funeral service.

To leave an on-line condolence please go to under obituaries.

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