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Joan C. Stearns


February 20, 2020

Funeral services for Joan C. Stearns, 84, of Clearwater were held Saturday, Feb. 14, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church of rural Clearwater, with Father James Kramper officiating. Burial was in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery.

Snider Memorial Funeral Home in Clearwater handled the arrangements.

Joan died Feb. 12, at Antelope Memorial Hospital, in Neligh. Condolences may be directed to the family at


Joan Cecelia (Mlnarik) Stearns, daughter of Joseph F. and Cecelia H. Mlnarik, was born July 30, 1935, at home south of Ewing. She grew up on her parents’ farm south of Ewing, attended Ewing High School, graduating with the Class of 1952, and attended two years at Wayne State College.

On May 24, 1955, she married Samuel J. Stearns at St. John’s Catholic Church. The first three years of married life were spent in Norfolk. In 1958, they moved to the farm in Antelope County, southwest of Clearwater, where she lived the rest of her life.

Joan was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church and St. John’s Christian Mothers. She enjoyed spending time with family, grandkids and great-grandkids, and her pumpkins, garden, playing cards and farming.

She is survived by children, Ronald (Judy) Stearns of Clearwater, Sheila (Dan) Bleyhl of Omaha, Mary (Dennis) McKillip of Elgin and Steve (Michelle) Stearns of Clearwater; grandchildren, Barry (Mandy) Stearns, Alex (Shannon) Bleyhl, Anna Bleyhl, Andrew Bleyhl, Christopher (Natalie) McKillip, Samantha (Ryan) Wullschleger, Jesse McKillip, Ashley Stearns and Katie Stearns; five great-grandchildren, Barrett and Colten Stearns, Parker, Mason and Everly McKillip; brothers and sisters, Yvonne Thramer of Ewing, Clarie (Vern) Friese of Ralston, John (Barbara) Mlnarik of Clearwater, Richard (Mary Lois) Mlnarik of O’Neill and Thomas (Sue) Mlnarik of Ewing.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents; father-in-law, Homer; mother-in-law, Sylvia; husband, Sam; granddaughter, Jamie McKillip; brother-in-law, Clet Thramer and nephew, Tim Thramer.


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