Tuesday, May 13 2014 02:00 AM

Joan Van Derau Zeek

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March 20, 1935 — May 05, 2014
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Joan Zeek, 79, a resident of Bakersfield, CA, died May 5, 2014. She was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, as the only child of Vol. F. and Marguerite Van Derau. In 1959, she married Larry Zeek, who was serving in the Air Force. Throughout Larry's 27 year military career, they lived many places, including Germany, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Mississippi, New York and California. She enjoyed traveling to many countries, including Italy, France, England, Germany, Taiwan, Austria, Holland and many more.

Joan graduated Altoona High School and then began work as a secretary for the William-Borland Real Estate & Insurance Agency in Altoona prior to marriage. After the birth of her children, she remained a stay-at-home mother for 17 years. She then re-entered the workforce and worked at the 3306 Flight Test & Evaluation Center at Edwards AirForce Base, Edwards AFB Hospital, and eventually for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. However her proudest titles were "Wife", "Mother" and "Grandmother". She was completely devoted to her family-never missing sporting events, honor and awards ceremonies, dance recitals, and band performances of her children and later her grandchildren.

Joan possessed inner beauty, intelligence, humor and unmeasurable selflessness. Her ready smile always lit up a room, never knowing a stranger. She was a Godly woman with immense class, poise and dignity. She loved attending Parkside Church Women's Bible Study group where she and her many friends enjoyed meaningful fellowship. Our family is comforted knowing she is now in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Joan is survived by her husband of 55 years, Larry Zeek; daughters and their spouses, Sherry and Ron Paul, and Carolyn and Les Bragg; and her 3 grandchildren, Daniel Bragg, Nicole Bragg, and Stephanie Paul.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Hall Ambulance, Bakersfield Police Department, KMC Emergency Trauma Unit and ICU, Hall Air Ambulance, and UCLA Neuro Trauma ICU. Everyone's gallant efforts, professionalism, dedication, and compassion were immensely appreciated. We would also like to take this time and express our deepest appreciation for each and every person who prayed for her. We feel honored to call her our wife, mother and grandmother. We cherish her memories and mourn her untimely passing, but we remain eternally grateful for the time we had to share in her amazing life. In lieu of flowers, any donations may be made in Joan Zeek's honor to Parkside Church.

A Celebration of Joan's life will be held on Friday, May 16 at 11 a.m. at Parkside Church located on 2515 Church Avenue in Bakersfield, Ca 93306. A private burial will be attended by family.

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