Cover photo for Joan Tuula's Obituary
Joan Tuula Profile Photo
1938 Joan 2023

Joan Tuula

January 4, 1938 — June 26, 2023

Joan Tuula, 85, Rockford, passed away Monday, June 26, 2023, in OSF ST. Anthony Medical Center surrounded by her loving family. She was born January 4, 1938, in Phelps, WI, the daughter of Cecil and Rose (Kernohan) Simpson. Joan married Dale Garth Tuula in Phelps, WI on October 6, 1956. He passed away on November 17, 2009.They moved to Rockford in 1960, and Joan was employed as a clerical worker for 25 years serving the district at Morris Kennedy School and retired from Flinn Middle School in 1995. Joan was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church where she sang in the church choir. She was a member of Ken-Rock Rec Council, the Ken-Rock Bingo Committee and a member and past president of the Ken-Rock Board of Directors. Joan was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” in 1991 and 1992, the “Senior Volunteer of the Year” in 1989 and volunteered for RSVP. She was a former Cub Scout Den Mother and receive the “Den Mother Training Award” and was local and state winner of the “Those Who Excel” in education award in 1993. She was also the recipient of the “Senior Volunteer of the Year” at Ken-Rock in 1998, the “Volunteer of the year” award at Ken-Rock in 2013, the “United way Volunteer Award” in 2001, and the “Point of Light Award” in 2002.

Survived by her daughter, Donna Rose (Brian) Alton of Loves Park; her grandchildren, Jennifer Jo (Andrew) Lapp, Kristin Rose (Daniel) Celletti and Ryan Carl Alton; her great-grandchildren, Destiny Rose (Sam Finch) Lapp, Alexander Dean Lapp, Drew Daniel Lapp, Karina Rose Celletti, Alexandria Ann Stuart, Samantha Marie Smiser, and Adam Lapp; her great-great-grandchildren, Kaiden Dale Lapp/Finch and Mason Dean Lapp/Finch; her son David Garth (Anita) Tuula of Rockford; her grandchildren Lance David (Gina) Tuula and Benjamin Aaron Tuula; her great-great-grandchildren, Emerson David Tuula, Grace Frances Tuula, Jackson Angelo Tuula and Grayson Charles Tuula; her son Duane Allen Tuula of Rockford; her brothers, Dan (Angelina) Simpson of Lake Stevens, WA. James Simpson of Menominee, MI and Stephen (Anne) Simpson of Bradenton, FL her sisters, Sandra Rankinen of West Allis, WI and Cheryl (Ray) Zastrow of Rhinelander, WI; many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her parents; her brother, William Simpson; her sisters; Rita Reeve, Marry Johnson, Karen Libby and Char Connor.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4620 20th St, Rockford, IL 61109. 

Memorials may be made in Joan's name to Bethlehem Lutheran Church. 

Arrangements by Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Mulford Chapel. Share online condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Tuula, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 29, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

4620 20th Street, Rockford, IL 61109

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