Joan Watts Wootton

October 10, 1928 - February 8, 2020

Beloit, WI -- Joan Watts Wootton, age 91, passed away peacefully on the morning of February 8, 2020. She was born October 10, 1928 in Oak Park, IL, the youngest child of the late James E. and Gladys (Watts) Wootton. She grew up in Beloit, graduating from Beloit High School in 1946, and from Rockford College in 1950. From there, Joan graduated from Northwestern receiving her Master of Science degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology. Joan began work as an audiologist shortly after graduation, even receiving her CDL so she could drive the large hearing test bus between schools. She worked as a speech therapist in Utica, NY, Pittsburgh, PA and Des Plaines IL. Later, she joined the Janesville School District, where she stayed until retirement. Joan was an accomplished cellist, starting private music study in her early teens. In her 60 plus years of playing cello, she was a member of numerous semi-professional and community symphonies and chamber music groups in Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania. She was a charter member of the Janesville Symphony. Joan's other abiding interest was history. She was a volunteer with the Rock County Historical Society (RCHS), where she was instrumental in preserving the history of one-room schoolhouses. Her series of interviews with former students and teachers was presented before the National One-Room School House convention in 2006, and is archived in book form with RCHS. Joan was a long-time member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, receiving special recognition for over 40 years of service. She was particularly devoted to conservation of the historic cobblestone Rasey House, which serves as the chapter house of Beloit DAR. She was also a member of Colonial Dames. In addition, Joan counted gardening and antique dolls among her interests.

She is survived by nephews, Jim (Diane) Holtz, Bill (Carey) Holtz; and niece, Mary Holtz (Michael Tuma); brother-in-law, Robert Holtz; and many cousins; extended family; and friends. Joan was preceded in death by her parents; and beloved sister, Eleanor Gladys Wootton Holtz.

Please join us in celebrating her life on Friday, February 14, 2020, at 12 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 801 Bushnell Street, Beloit, WI, 53511. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Friday in the church. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Congregational Church, Beloit (, or the Rock County Historical Society ( Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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