The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Misty Huston, The Quill

Meet Your Neighbor Joan Gittings of rural Stronghurst.

She was born in Moline and raised in Mercer and Henderson Counties. She graduated from Biggsville High School.

She is currently self-employed, the owner of Joan's Primitive Crafts, that opened this past March in Stronghurst. Joan personally makes a lot of the items offered in her store, such as the embroidered pictures, silk arrangements and wooden furniture. She has a friend who molds the angels and fires them in a kiln for her and then Joan paints them and adds the special touches.

She previously worked on the family farm with her husband for twenty-five years until they moved to Missouri in 1982. In Missouri she worked at a factory for ten years and in 1990 she followed her passion for crafting and opened her first craft shop. In addition to her shop, she also goes to some shows and sets up, for example she has set up in Farmington on the Spoon River Drive for 15 years.

She and hubby, John, have been married for 51 years. He is a cattle buyer for other people.

They have four children, Shari Campbell, a farm wife and homemaker, who lives in Little York; Darell Gittings, Ag teacher at West Central High School, who resides in Stronghurst; Brian Gittings, who works for Hubbard Feeds, and resides in Vinton, Iowa; and Jeff Gittings, who is employed traveling around the U.S. selling hunting supplies to big stores such as Cabela's, he resides in Princeton, Missouri.

She has six grandchildren, Hillary, Cassie, J.C., Dayne, Ruby, and Cameron; and four step-grandchildren, Natalie, Riley, Tyler and Paige.

Her hobbies include making crafts and spending time with her family. She says she has done pretty much every kind of crafting at one time or another, except for tatting. Embroidery seems to be her favorite however. Her mother taught her to embroider at a young age using dish towels, that were made out of old potato sacks.

Another hobby Joan began a few years ago is reading. About three years ago while visiting a little shop, Joan came across an old Nancy Drew book and picked it up and began thumbing through it. She was hooked and started reading the series. As she researched it she found that there are 179 books in this one series alone, she has read 120 some of them so far. She said she has never been much of a pleasure reader but these books capture her attention and keep her wanting to read more.

She recalls family vacations to Hawaii and California.

Joan says, "I just enjoy doing my crafts and keeping my hands busy".