Joan R. Eberhart, 77, South Whitley, died at 7:20 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at Vibra Hospital, Fort Wayne. She was born April 26, 1940, in Cleveland Twp., Whitley County, a daughter of the late Wallace D. and Lillian (Stansberry) Eberhart. Her formative years were spent on a farm south of South Whitley on SR 5 in Cleveland Twp. At the age of 12, Joan contracted polio. At the age of 15, her family moved to their home on Walnut Street in South Whitley. Despite her affliction, she remained with her class through tutoring and her fortitude and graduated salutatorian of her South Whitley High School class.
She began her work career in the accounting department with the former Gripco, South Whitley, where she had nearly 37 years of service. From 1996 until 2004, she was elected and served as the Whitley County Treasurer.
Because of the polio as a teenager, Joan had many surgeries and wore a leg brace in order to walk. Over the years, as it became harder for her to walk, she could be seen out around town on her motorized cart. In August of 2014, she underwent surgery for a mitral valve replacement and upon leaving the hospital made Peabody Retirement Community her home.
Always active in the community, she served as a town council member from 2008 to 2011. She was a former board member of the United Way of Whitley County and Passages, Columbia City. She assisted the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana with their first aid education for school children. She was an over 50-year member of the United Methodist Church of South Whitley and Delta Theta Tau Sorority. She was a member of United Women’s Fellowship, United Methodist Whitko Cluster Group, and South Whitley Elementary School Mentors.
She is survived by her brother, Jim (Jeanette) Eberhart, South Whitley; two nieces: Debra (Rex) Wilkinson and Dianne (Dan) Amburgy, both of South Whitley; a nephew, Dennis (Cheryl) Eberhart, South Whitley; great-nieces and nephews: Rita Rogers, Lisa Engle, Randy Wilkinson, Julie Fernandez, Christopher Amburgy, Ashley Williamson, Tara Thornburg and Tyson Crain and 12 great-great nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the United Methodist Church of South Whitley. Burial will be in the South Whitley Cemetery. Visitation will be 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Smith & Sons Miller Chapel, South Whitley and one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorials may be made to United Methodist Church of South Whitley, Parking Lot Asphalt Fund.