Joan C. Guilfoyle

Joan Elizabeth Condon Guilfoyle February 12, 1918 (Memphis, TN) – September 9, 2014 (Chicago IL)

Survived by son Thomas Dee (Toni Cerone) of Gainesville FL; daughter Margaret Jane "Peg" (John Baillie) of St. Paul MN; daughter Joan Frances (Cem Basman) of Washington DC; son Robert Garrett of Bridgman MI; grandchildren Jaclynn Joan Guilfoyle, John Guilfoyle Baillie (Anna Novikova) and Margaret Guilfoyle Baillie. Preceded in death by husband Thomas Dee Guilfoyle of Cherry, Illinois.

Joan resided in Flossmoor, Illinois, from 1924-2011, and graduated from Leavitt Avenue and Flossmoor Grade School, Thornton Township High School and St. Xavier University (in the tradition of her mother Beatrice Van Wagner, three aunts and sister Jane Van Wagner Condon). On her paternal side, Joan was a 4th generation Chicagoan; her great grandfather Thomas Patrick Grady was the first sheriff of Lake County. On her maternal side, Joan is a direct descendant of Aert VanWageningen who settled in Duchess County, New York, in 1642. Memberships include Daughters of the American Revolution, St. Xavier University Alumni Association, Alliance Francaise, and Infant Jesus of Prague Catholic Church, Flossmoor.

Joan is the founder of “The 49ers”, alumni group of women who attended St. Xavier at the original location of 49th and Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago. The group celebrated its 30th anniversary on August 21, 2014, where Joan made her usual rounds visiting all the tables as luncheon hostess. The 49ers group originated in 1984 when Joan invited three former classmates to lunch and grew to over 70 at its annual event.

After moving to Smith Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago in 2011, Joan began working with Maria’s Shelter in Chicago by organizing her new community of friends to create and deliver Easter baskets for up to 50 children living at the shelter. Joan's daughters fondly recall their daily task during the pre-Christmas season in the 1960s going from classroom to classroom at Infant Jesus of Prague school to collect Christmas stockings filled by IJP families. Hundreds of lovingly overstuffed stockings were delivered to underprivileged children through the Junior League of Chicago, of which Joan was a member.

Joan’s special joys of life include having been an Earth Watch Institute lecturer and volunteer researcher throughout France and the Soviet Union, spending six weeks in Kiev during the Cold War, and traveling around the world including China. She has been a lifelong student of the language, people, history, literature and art of France, including a bird's eye view from a two week hot-air balloon trip. She took great pride in raising her four children in Flossmoor, spent many summers on the beaches of Lake Michigan, and expressed a joie de vivre every day. Joan continuously found ways to do things for others, and will be greatly missed by her children, grandchildren and many, many friends.

A mass and celebration of Joan’s (long!) life will begin with visitation and music at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, September 16th, followed by Mass and a bag-pipe led procession to lunch at a nearby restaurant. The visitation and Mass will be held at Saint Xavier University’s McDonough Chapel, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago, IL 60655. Parking is available at the chapel and across the street. Lunch and opportunities to share stories of Joan's life will take place at Gilhooley's Grand Saloon, 3901 West 103rd St, Chicago, 60655.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the "Joan Guilfoyle Foreign Studies Scholarship Fund" at St. Xavier University, University Advancement Office, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago IL 60655. Cards may be sent in care of Thompson and Kuenster Funeral Home, 5570 W. 95th, Oak Lawn, IL, 60453.