Joseph R. DeFord, age 62, of Oquawka, Illinois passed away at 4:20 pm on October 14, 2021 at his Oquawka residence. Joseph was born on November 19, 1958 in Monmouth and is the son of Robert d. and Lois P. Senders DeFord. Joseph was raised in Monmouth where he attended local schools and graduated from Monmouth High School with the class of 1976. Joseph then served his nation in the United States Army as a Sargent and was in intelligence stationed in Germany for a time. After service, Joe was married to Heather Marie Johnson on July 19, 2003 in Oquawka, Illinois and she is surviving him. Joseph first worked at Farm King in Monmouth where he served as manager for several years. He then began work at Wells Pet Food in Monmouth on the treat line and later in packing. He then was in sanitation there for most of his career and to retirement after 25 years. Joseph enjoyed being a handyman and was a good one to fix things for everyone. He loved watching the geese and goats in Gladstone and going to the damn to watch the barges. Joseph also was a SciFi fanatic and western writing of which he wrote several unpublished books. He also loved classical music and playing songs of his choice. He is survived by his wife, Heather M. DeFord of Oquawka, Illinois and his son, Nathanial J. DeFord also of Oquawka, and his daughter Libby Jo DeFord also at home in Oquawka. His son Matt Willett is surviving in Adair, Illinois and his grandchildren Ryne and Reanne also are surviving with great grandchildren Brooklyn and Samuel. Joseph's sisters and brothers also survive, Marge, Ronald, Jefferson, Roberta, Esther, Timothy, Kenny, Sherry, and Connie along with an uncle, two aunts, and a number of nieces and nephews. Preceding him in his death are his parents, an infants daughter, Lynn Marie, his sister in law and his mother in law.
A Military honor is planned at 1:30 pm on Saturday October 23, 2021 at Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth. A celebration of his life will follow at 2:00 pm at Turnbulls as cremation has been accorded.
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