Larry L. "Joensy" Joens

Apr 11, 2017
Joens_Larry news


11:00 AM, Saturday, April 15, 2017 at St. John Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls


3:00 to 7:00 PM, Friday, April 14, 2017 at Locke Funeral Home


Garden of Memories Cemetery
Waterloo, Iowa


St. John's Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls or to the family


Larry L. Joens, 73, of Waterloo, died at home Tuesday, April 11, of complications from cancer.

He was born on Dec. 13, 1943, in Waverly, son of Elmer and Leona Bremer Joens. He married Sandra Bowers in 1961; they later divorced. He then married Nanette Spiegel Owen in 1976.

Larry attended Longfellow elementary, Logan Junior High School and graduated from East High School in 1962.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 1967. He was a teacher and coach for over 40 years in the Waterloo Community School District; teaching at Bunger, East High School, Irving Elementary and West Middle School. He taught PE, driver’s education and math. Currently, Larry was working at Locke Funeral Home.

He was an active member of St. John Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls.  Larry looked forward to his bible study groups and the mission trips with his Church family.  Larry had a big heart.  He was very patient which you would have to be to teach driver’s education.  Larry was a bit of a jokester and could tease relentlessly.  He truly was one of a kind and had helped many people through the years.  Larry loved and excelled in football, basketball, and baseball throughout his school years and after in leagues and church teams.  Larry’s “Gentle giant” demeanor enabled him to connect and engage with his students over his years as an educator and coach. 

Survived by: his wife Nanette; a son, Bryan (Peggy) of Waterloo; a daughter, Brenda (Steve) Everman of Hampton; three stepsons, Nick Owen of Wheat Ridge, Colo., Paul (Amy) Owen of Cedar Rapids and Andrew (Kwyn) Owen of Dubuque; a stepdaughter, Heidi (Mark) Sanman of Las Vegas; 14 grandchildren, Kelli Joens, Lindsey Joens, Nick Joens, Morgan (Andy) Thurman, Mason (Mikayla Whitney) Everman, Neal (Valerie Brown) Owen, Rachael Sanman, Julia Sanman, Jenna, Jordan and Katelyn Owen, Seth, and Alyssa Owen; seven great-grandchildren, Shawn, Kyle, Trevor, Gabe and Grace Owen, Vincent and Imogen Thurman; three brothers, David (Donna) of Cedar Falls, Bob (Bobbie) of La Porte City and Ken (Maurine) of Portal, Ariz.; a sister, Carol (Larry) Chapman of New Hartford; a brother-in-law, Reed (Marlys) Spiegel of Lancaster, Penn.; and a sister-in-law, Gloria Spiegel of Waterloo; many nieces and nephews and several cousins.

Preceded in death by: his parents; and a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Kent and Kate Spiegel.


Click here to send a private message to the family.



Leave a comment
  1. Dollie Sprague | Apr 13, 2017
    My heart goes out to the family and loved ones during this time. I have great memories of this man from East High. He was very patient with me and a great teacher. Dollie Sprague former Trojan. 
  2. Jennifer Anderson | Apr 13, 2017
    I'm so saddened to hear of this news. Mr Joens was truly a patient and kind man. My condolences to all of his family. I had him as a drivers ed instructor and I will never forget a few months after getting my license I was pulled over on Lafayette Rd for speeding and as I'm sitting there on the side of the road receiving my citation who drives right by me....Mr Joens!  True story. I never lived that one down. Truly a great man!  Prayers to the family. 
  3. Bob Lockard | Apr 13, 2017
    So saddened to learn of this. Larry was a very special special he was chosen as the life partner of Nanette, who has warmed the hearts of our family for 70 years. My condolences to the Joens and Owen children and their families, who are surely broken by this hurtful loss. May he Rest In Peace.
  4. Mark Guenther | Apr 13, 2017

    I extend my sympathies to Larry's family.  I umpired a lot of Larry's East High Baseball team games.  He was a true gentleman.  Enjoyed working for him and Bryan in baseball and basketball.  Men of his stature will be missed.  RIP Coach.

    Mark Guenther

  5. Derek and Sherri (Dierks) Leyen | Apr 13, 2017
    Sending thoughts and prayers to the family of a Wonderful Teacher and Coach!!  
  6. Rick Niedermann | Apr 13, 2017
    My Sympathy to the Joens family. Larry was a Great coach and even better person. 
  7. Chris Murphy | Apr 13, 2017
    So sorry to hear about Larry.  I worked with him at Irving Elementary for several years, and he was usually the only male on the staff.  I think he enjoyed all the teasing he got!  What a great guy.
  8. Barb Parker | Apr 13, 2017
    Dear Joens family, I am so saddened at the news of Larry's passing. He worked with me at West,while holding the position of driving instructor. My husband also helped Larry in several plumbing projects at your home. His smile will always remain in my heart. Our deepest sympathy to all of you. May the wonderful memories that your hearts hold,  help to  soften the pain of losing such a wonderful Husband,Dad,and Grandpa. Deepest sympathy. Dave and Barb Parker
  9. Tim and Deb Raymond | Apr 13, 2017
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families during this most difficult time.
  10. Tom Grady | Apr 13, 2017

    Thoughts and prayers.  Many fond memories of Larry as a teacher and coach at Bunger.  There is one epic golf outing with Bob White, Dave Masson and Larry, that I will never forget and it still makes me laugh as hard today, as it did  48 years ago.  RIP Larry

    Tom Grady

    Sioux Falls, SD

  11. Tony Lutz | Apr 12, 2017
    Sorry to hear of Larry's passing. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. 
  12. Troy Sheeley | Apr 12, 2017

    My deepest sympathy to your family. I have many great memories of Coach, growing up at East High, having him as a coach and teacher, and especially during basketball season while in high school keeping stats and teaveling with the team. He was a great man and mentor to many Trojans through the years. 

  13. Ed & Krystal Madlock | Apr 12, 2017

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 

  14. Karen and Gary Everman | Apr 12, 2017
    Sending prayers to you all! 
  15. Brenda roth | Apr 12, 2017
    Prayers to the family for the loss of a great man.
  16. Alice Shirey | Apr 12, 2017
    The Shirey family is thinking of you in these sad days.... 
  17. Brian Woodley | Apr 12, 2017
    The Woodley's are sending our thoughts and prayers to the family! RIP Coach!

    Leave a comment

    Locate Us

    Get directions to Locke Funeral Home.

    Play button icon. Click to order flowers.

    Order Flowers

    Choose the arrangement and let us worry about the rest

    Play button icon. Click to order flowers.

    Plan a Gathering & 

    Celebrate a life that has been lived and has touched so many.

    Play button icon. Click to plan a gathering or celebration.

    Local Grief Support

    Find a support group to help you cope with grief.

    Play button icon. Click to plan a gathering or celebration.