Peggy “Joan” Schaffner

Peggy Schaffner was born December 6, 1937, to Garold and Lois Farthing at their farm near Hindsboro, in rural Coles County, Illinois. Her friends knew her as Joan or Joni.

She passed away at the Piatt County Nursing Home on May 16, 2024.

Baby Joan arrived prematurely, weighing only 2 pounds at the time of her birth at home. The doctor didn’t think she would survive because she needed to be in an incubator, which was not available. The family fashioned an incubator by warming the oven and setting Baby Joan on the door to keep warm. She thrived and grew up strong and healthy.

Joan graduated from Oakland High School in 1956, after which she moved to Champaign, where she worked as a car hop at the iconic Steak and Shake restaurant on Green Street in Campustown.

In 1957, she married William Currid. They had three children, Peggy, Scott, and Barbara. Joan and Bill were divorced in 1967. Joan later married Alfred Schaffner, Jr. They were divorced in 1972.

Joan loved caring for babies, and in the early 1970s, she worked with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, fostering infants who were in line for adoption before the adoptive parents were ready to take custody. For the next two years, there was a baby in the house—a new one nearly every week, and Joan’s own children helped out with their care.

Joan loved bowling and was employed by Arrowhead Lanes in Champaign, working behind the counter, helping out in the snack bar, and teaching bowling to children. She was also very active in local bowling leagues and was a member of the Champaign-Urbana Women’s Bowling Association. She was inducted in their Hall of Fame in 1986.

Later, Joan managed Ozier Apartments in Champaign and worked as a teller for the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Credit Union and University of Illinois Community Credit Union.

She loved helping other people whenever she could. After she retired, Joan lived at the Round Barn Apartments in Champaign, where she organized and cooked many of the group meals shared by the residents. Her fried chicken and potato salad were the stuff of legend.

Joan was everyone’s granny, related or not. She was not afraid to speak her mind on any topic and tell you exactly what she thought. But she was never judgmental toward other people and was always the first to pitch in and help anyone when needed.

She is survived by her children, Peggy Currid Heimburger (Mark) of White Heath, Scott Currid of Champaign, and Barbara Currid Leemon of St. Joseph; two sisters, Barbara Gilhaus of Bloomington, and Janet Bruce of Hindsboro; two sisters-in-law, Marilyn Farthing of Oakland, and Beverly Farthing of Charleston. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Dustin (Meghan) Leemon, Derek (Chelsea) Leemon, Devin (Lyndsey) Leemon, and Cameron Currid; and five great-grandchildren, Ellie Leemon, Emma Leemon, Beckham Leemon, Channing Leemon, and Easton Leemon.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Garold and Lois Farthing, and brothers Bill Farthing and Gary Farthing.

A memorial service will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.