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Joan K. Percy

Joan K. Percy Joan K. Percy, age 92, of Manhattan, died Wednesday July 7, 2021 at the Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas.

If you ask her many close friends and acquaintances, they all describe her with the same three words; “a True Lady”. Everyone loved Joan, as she gave way more back in return. But Joan’s main love was her immediate family, at one time numbering several dozen. But she also loved so many close friends, and truly cared about anyone she ever met.

She was born on December 13, 1928 in Fort Scott, Kansas, the daughter of Clifford Burke and Ruby (Bybee) Burke. Her mother later married Kenneth Abell, of Iola, when Joan was still a young age. Joan considered Kenny her father for all her life, and loved both of her parents dearly. She grew up in Iola, Kansas and graduated with the Iola High School class of 1946. Many of her classmates remained friends for life.

She was united in marriage to Robert John Percy, also of Iola, on April 20, 1947. Their marriage was a very loving partnership of 69 years until Robert proceeded her in death in 2016.

Joan is proceeded in death by her eldest son, John E. Percy (wife Jennie) of Beaufort, South Carolina. She is survived by her sons James K. Percy (wife Carol) of Americus, KS, and Robert Alan Percy (wife Karen) of Toronto, Canada. She is also survived by 6 grandchildren; Tani and Gwen (Rick), Levi and JoJo (Jim) Caleb and Caitlin (Robert Alan), 10 great grandchildren, brother-in-law Claude Percy, sister-in-law Jeanne Percy, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Robert was a career military man, and they relocated 14 times in the first 20 years of marriage due to promotions and reassignments. Joan had the major task of seeing to the needs of the three boys and taking care of the entire households. Iola always served as a temporary home for Joan and the boys between many of the moves, living with both their parents. The family has lived in such places as Hawaii, San Francisco, Boston, New York City, Heilbronn and Heidelberg, Germany. They vacationed and traveled extensively.
No matter where she lived, Joan always volunteered her services, whether as a Gray Lady at the hospitals or as a PTA member. She was an avid contract bridge player, and considered quite good by most. Joan loved being involved in numerous associations and clubs, especially doing charity work.

Joan and Robert called Manhattan home since 1967, upon his retiring from service. This was the longest they had ever put down roots. They were great friends of Bob and Lillian Sloan, and Joe and Evelyn Murphy. The 3 couples had one adventure after another during their long friendships. Joan was in various clubs and organizations, including the Pilot Club, Bridge Club, The Copers Club, and of course, the infamous Mall Walkers, aka “the Walkie Talkie Coffee Group”. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.

Memorial services for Joan will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday July 15, 2021 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel in Manhattan, with Rev. Ben Duerfeldt officiating. Inurnment will follow the services at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at Fort Riley in Manhattan.

Memorial contributions in memory of Joan are suggested to the Pilot Club of Manhattan or the Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice House in Manhattan. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

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