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Obituary-Joyce Geneva (Miller) Winch

Joyce Geneva (Miller) Winch, 91, of Rock Falls, passed away on Sunday, March 24, 2024, at Rock River Hospice & Home in Sterling.

Joyce was born during a snowstorm, on November 12, 1932, to Irwin and Helen (Loercher) Miller of Lincoln, Illinois. She attended Brown’s Business College in Springfield and was saving money to invest in real estate when she met “that scoundrel” Stanley Cobane in Lake Placid, New York. Eventually, the young couple returned to Illinois and settled in Deer Grove.

At that time, Joyce was a mother of two, driving a school bus in the morning and afternoon. After Stanley’s employers at Ozark Airlines complained about their trouble finding a local air freight carrier, Joyce started running trips to and from their area clients while her sons were in school. Thanks in large part to her tireless work ethic, Cobane Air Freight continued to grow and thrive for almost 60 years, employing dozens of commercial drivers and a handful of special secretaries, many of whom also became valued friends.

Joyce would want us to mention that she was a Depression baby and inherited her work ethic from her father, a farmhand who was never able to farm his own land. She purchased her first farm to honor him and continued to be a regular fixture in the area farming community for the duration of her life.

Joyce had many interests but was most passionate about antiques, American history, animals, and conservation. She valued hard work and honesty but loved her dysfunctional family and naughty dogs dearly nonetheless.

Survivors include her sons, Paul Cobane III and Scott Cobane; three grandchildren, Carrie Cobane, PJ Cobane, and Tiffany (Mo) Spatz; three great-grandchildren, Damian Cobane, Eli Spatz, and Mathilda Spatz; two nephews, Nathan (Krista) Miller, and Todd (Katherine) Miller; her sister-in-law, Kathy Miller; several cousins, great-nieces and a great-nephew, her step-family, and countless friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Alfred Winch; and her little brother, Lee Miller.

By Joyce’s request, there will be no visitation, but anyone wishing to honor her is encouraged to make a donation to the area animal rescue of their choice.

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