Mom during a walk with Cindy on Oval Beach, Saugatuck, MI. (ca. 2009)
Joanne Stearns
  • 91 years old
  • Date of birth: Jul 17, 1926
  • Place of birth:
    Evanston, Illinois, United States
  • Date of passing: Jul 24, 2017
  • Place of passing:
    Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you reach the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Kahlil Gibran

Dear Friends and Family, 

It is with sadness, and relief at the arrival of peace, that we share with you the loss of our beloved mother Joanne.  

She died quietly in her sleep during the early morning hours of Monday, July 24, at Atria Park in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, where she had resided since 2014.

In the days just before she passed, she was accompanied and visited by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren - ten in all - and attended to by caring staff and well-wishers. 

As you may know, Mom began her departure journey some years ago as one of more than five million Americans afflicted with Alzheimer’s dementia. She continually blessed everyone in the face of the disease’s challenges, as she steadfastly maintained her generosity of spirit, humility and good-natured sense of humor - even through the wearying last months and hours.

Given a difficult closing role, she made the most beautiful and graceful exit we could have hoped for her.

We are deeply grateful for her life and legacy, for the blessings experienced, and to all of you - for your support throughout Mom’s passage.

Cindy and Scott Stearns


A memorial service will be held on
Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.

The First Presbyterian Church
715 N. Carlton Avenue
Wheaton, IL 60187

* * *
Memorial contributions (in lieu of flowers) may be made to

Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance
Alzheimer's Association - Illinois Chapter

or a charitable cause of your choosing.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Scott Stearns on 5th August 2017

"August 3, 2017

Dear Cindy and Family--Having your mother as my neighbor and friend for the past 21 years has been such an honor. Her smile, warm heart, and her gift of making people feel loved will be greatly missed, but I carry these gifts from her close to my heart. What a beautiful lady. My prayers are with you as she is now in God's arms and at peace.

Barbara Grass, Winfield, IL"

This tribute was added by Shirley Mckee on 4th August 2017

"I truly enjoyed caring for your mother! A very, very sweet lady. When I think of her, there was an incident that always brings a smile. One day  her exercise class at Wyndermere, let out a little early and I had no idea where she had gone. Jody always loved her sweets. Evidently, she had found her way into the dining room where they were having a party for all the people who had sung for the Christmas program. She had a little plate filled with assorted cookies. I explained the situation to the people there and they were happy that Jody was enjoying herself. I did have to stop her though, from having a second helping.   However, I'm sure there is a pastry shop in heaven just waiting for Jody's arrival.
I hope the fond memories of your mother comfort you always, Shirley"

This tribute was added by Joan Cahill Hamer on 4th August 2017

"Cindy, You were the most devoted and sweet daughter a mother could ever have.  Sympathies to you and your family."

This tribute was added by Sandy Hasara on 3rd August 2017

"I will always remember Joanne in her cozy, dimly lit little kitchen
with WGN radio playing softly in the background. She would be busily
preparing a meal or always making sure Cindy I got something to eat
or a snack after school. She was a strong, quiet, sweet, and loving soul that I remember finding great comfort in just being around her as I myself had just lost my own mom a year before I met Cindy. She always made you feel welcome and loved. She was a truly remarkable mom for giving of herself and sharing her heart with us. So grateful I had the chance to know her and witness her elegance. She was a treasure and will most assuredly be missed."

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This memorial is administered by:

Cindy Stearns
Scott Stearns


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