Joan Cortopassi, 83

    Joan Cortopassi (nee Nowak), age 83, of Elmhurst, IL passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Monday, March 4, 2024. Joan was born in the South Chicago neighborhood to her late parents John L. and Irene T. (nee Prokop) Nowak. She is survived by her children, Kenneth A. (Ellen) Cortopassi and Zoe M. Cortopassi, and her granddaughter, Kacia M. Cortopassi. Joan is preceded in death by her sister, Delores Motkowicz, and her brother, Jerome Nowak. Joan resided at Park Place of Elmhurst until her passing.

    As a child, Joan lived across from and attended school at Immaculate Conception Church on the 8700 block of South Commercial Avenue. She attended many dances in the school gymnasium, where her love for dancing began. She would reminisce about going home for lunch, and how her mother always had wonderful meals waiting for her. She especially enjoyed the smoked fish.

    Joan attended James H. Bowen High School, located on East 89th Street in Chicago. As a teenager, she had many jobs, including being a salesgirl at Gately’s People Store in the Roseland neighborhood and as a bank cashier in downtown Chicago.

    In the 1970’s, she began her modeling career and worked at various trade shows being held at McCormick Place in Chicago, including the Auto Show, Restaurant Show, Electronics Show, Hardware Show, and countless others.

Joan resided in Indianapolis, IN from 1980 to 1995 where she became the Food Service Sales Marketing Director at the Hoosier Dome.

    In 1995, Joan moved to Elmhurst to be closer to her mother, children, and especially her newly born granddaughter, whom she loved beyond words. She also adored spending time with her grand-fur-babies, Leah (dog), Rocko (dog), and Eddie (cat).

    Joan retired in 2014, after her decade-long career as a toll collector for the Illinois Toll Highway Authority.

    Joan’s passions included dancing, cooking, baking, and gardening. Until her passing, she continued to tear out recipes from magazines and newspapers which she kindly passed on to her family. Her lemon bars were always a hit at gatherings. Joan loved spending time with her family, including watching the Wheel of Fortune and other TV gameshows with her granddaughter.

    She was very charismatic and made lifelong friends wherever life took her. She dearly loved the friends she made with the other residents and the facilities great staff during her 10 years at Park Place Retirement Community.

    Joan’s loving spirit will be missed by all of us who were lucky enough to know and love her.

    A memorial service will be held in honor of Joan Cortopassi in the main dining room at Park Place of Elmhurst, 1050 South Euclid Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126, on Saturday, April 13, 2024, from 9:30 am to 11:00 am.

    In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution in Joan’s name can be made to Providence Hospice (a Division of Providence Life Services), [email protected], or to your favorite charity.

    For information, please contact Elmhurst Community Funeral Home – THE AHLGRIM CHAPEL, (630) 834-3515 or