Cover photo for Joan Frances Towle's Obituary
Joan Frances Towle Profile Photo

Joan Frances Towle

March 2, 1943 — February 25, 2019

Joan Frances Towle, 75, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, February 25th at Bryan County Health and Rehab in Richmond Hill, Georgia.  She was born March 2, 1943 in Chicago Heights, Illinois to Helen and Max Holderied. As the youngest of four siblings (Robert Holderied, Father Kurt (Bill) Holderied, Mary (Mimi) Holderied) Joan was loved beyond measure by family, friends and strangers alike.  After spending her youth in her beloved Chicago, and as a woman of strong faith, Joan aspired to follow her brother Bill into the Catholic Church and joined the Order of Franciscans as a nun in Allegheny, New York. Complications due to her Type 1 diabetes meant that she was unable to complete her studies, however, this led to her meeting and marrying Fred Towle, a sailor in the U.S. Navy (Dec. 2011) and realizing her greatest dream - becoming a mother.  If there was one role Joan was born to complete it was that of motherhood. After losing an infant son in 1970, her son Mike - who she would always say was her greatest pride and joy - was born in 1972.  After moving to Poplar Bluff, Missouri with her young family, Joan worked as a teaching assistant in early childhood.  She spent 20 years in Poplar Bluff until after her son graduated from college. She then moved back to Chicago to be with her sister and earned her Associate's Degree and for many years worked as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in Illinois. Her work with students with special needs allowed her to help others and she took great delight in seeing her students’ progress throughout the years.  Joan's life was a living example of Proverbs 3:3: "Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart."  Joan had a phenomenally kind soul and embraced new experiences, people and places with enthusiasm, love and her trademark "goofiness" that guaranteed strangers would soon become friends. She loved her art, Chicago, talking, baseball and her family, especially her grandchildren, Parker and Sophie. She loved to be around people, learn new things, and helping/giving to others brought her immeasurable satisfaction. Joan is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Gem Towle (GA); grandchildren Parker and Sophie Towle (GA); brother Robert (Bob) Holderied and sister-in-law Barbara (Barb) Holderied (NH); sister-in-law Carri Benson (MD); niece Kris Holderied (AK) and nephew Kurt Holderied (CT and London, England). All of these she loved and touched deeply. Please join us in celebrating her life Saturday morning, March 2, 2019 between 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Carter Funeral Home Bryan Chapel with a funeral mass immediately following at St. Anne Martha Mary Chapel in Richmond Hill. Carter Funeral Home Bryan Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences can be made at To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Frances Towle, please visit our flower store.


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