Joan Von Tersch-Wege Member since August 10, 2015 By Carol Hollenbeck, Web Manager

Joan heard, over the years, that her mother had originally stated that she would “Never marry a farmer, never become a Catholic and never have children.” As it turns out, the Holy Spirit was busily at work in her mother’s life. Joan was raised on a farm outside of Denison, Iowa. She was the third of nine children (five boys and four girls.) And they were all baptized in the Catholic Church.

Joan graduated from the Denison Community Schools. Her first post High School degree was in Early Childhood Education from The College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. Joan’s second degree is from U.N.O. in Elementary Education. And finally, Doane College, in Crete, Nebraska presented her a Master’s Degree in Education/Brain Research.

Joan owned a preschool, serving ninety children, in Millard, Nebraska for nearly ten years. After a few years in school in Millard, her three sons were transported daily, across the Missouri River, to attend St. Albert in Council Bluffs. After she sold the preschool her family moved to Council Bluffs. Her sons were able to attend St. Albert without that long commute every day. Joan taught school at St. Albert for three years. Then she transferred to Council Bluffs Community Schools, taught preschool and did grant writing and accreditation work for them. She taught for 25 years at Roosevelt Preschool, retiring four years ago. Joan was the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the Nelson Family Foundation in 2008.

Joan has three sons, as mentioned above, and currently has seven grandchildren. She is fortunate to have her sons living close to home. Two of her sons reside in Elkhorn and Bellevue, Nebraska respectively. The third son lives in Council Bluffs and owns the 1892 Beer House, located in the hundred block downtown (142 W Broadway.) Joan has repeatedly volunteered to help with the Council Bluffs Community School District’s “Blast from the Past” spring fundraiser events at her son’s business. She stated those events have been “lots of fun.”

Retirement from teaching has not altered Joan’s interest in working with children. Since 2017 she has been volunteering at Children’s Square in Council Bluffs. She is currently on the Friends of Children’s Square Board. She has done volunteer work at Mohm’s Place and of course in her home Parish of St. Peter’s. She also volunteers yearly with Celebrate CB activities, which includes the annual Celebrate CB Parade. She is very active in the CB Pro-Life activities. She currently serves our CDA Court #330 as Chair of our annual LifeSaver Drive.

Our Blessings are showered on Joan, because on June 13, 2020 she and Bill Wege were joined in Holy Matrimony by Fr. Chuck Kottas at St. Peter Catholic Church. It was a limited affair, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but both immediate families were there to celebrate with the happy couple. Joan’s mother recently passed and she and her family have sold some farmland outside Denison, Iowa. Joan and Bill are currently building a new home outside of Crescent, Iowa, which will be completed this Fall.

Joan’s husband, Bill Wege, is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Council Bluffs and Joan will continue to belong to St. Peter Parish after the move to Crescent. They have shared attendance and have made lots of friends in both church families. Joan also told me that not only did her mother marry a Catholic, but during their marriage her parents took “many trips to the Holy Land and group tours to places like Yugoslavia and China to visit religious sites.” One never knows where the Holy Spirit will lead, if we are open to it!

We wish Joan and Bill the very best for a long and happy marriage and joy in their spiritual journeys. Congratulations!


“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

This is my commandment: that you love one another.”

John 15:11-12