Joan “Joanie” (Peterson) Neyra, age 73, of Greenville, passed away peacefully February 1, 2022 in her home lovingly surrounded by her family.
Joan was born on February 6, 1948, to parents Russell and Dorothea Peterson in Veblen, South Dakota. Joan was the first-born of an unknown twin pregnancy. Growing up in the small town of Sisseton, South Dakota, her parents owned a bowling alley and restaurant “Rus and Dots”. She and her twin sister worked as pin setters. While attending Northern State University on scholarship, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, she worked in the summer at the gift shop at Mount Rushmore. After graduating cum laude, she began her career of teaching English.
In 1974, Joan married Richard Neyra. They were blessed with two children, Matthew Neyra and Natalie Neyra Walsh. She unconditionally and unselfishly loved her children and supported them through the many highs and difficulties of their lives.
Joan’s personal mission throughout her teaching career was not to just teach her students, but to love and invest in them. She had a profound impact on so many lives that did not end when the school year ended. Whenever she met a former student, she always asked how they were, how they were doing in school, and what their life goals were after high school. Most of her teaching career was at Greenville Middle School where she taught Reading and co-lead the New Kids program. She finished her career at Quinlan High School teaching English and Reading as well as being the coordinator of the PALS program. Joan retired from teaching in 2012.
After retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her friends and family and especially quality time with her grandchildren Emma, Ava, Jaxon, Preston, Reese, Genevieve, and Josephine who she proudly doted over and spoiled every chance she got. She loved her dog Marshall and feeding the birds in the front yard. Joan loved being a twin and adored her twin sister, Jean.
To say her family and friends will miss her greatly is an understatement. Joan was a well respected and cherished teacher and a loyal friend to many including Leah Rita Tillotson, Sandra Pugh, Nancy Ogden and Linda Muhl.
Joan is survived by her twin sister Jean Banek and husband Dean; son Matthew and wife Lauren; daughter Natalie Walsh and husband Shay Walsh; former spouse Richard Neyra; grandchildren Emma, Ava, Jaxon, Preston, Reese, Genevieve and Josephine; as well as many extended family members.
The family request donations be made to FirstBook at https://support.firstbook.org/fundraiser/3744947
A scholarship is in work with Greenville High School.
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