Joan Barbara Shanley (nee Schladen), mother, grandmother, great grandmother, friend and colleague, completed her life on April 12, 2017 at the age of 88. She will be greatly missed by her five children, Scott (Sherry) Reese, Lindsey (Jim) Cometa, Bryn (Dean) Klovens, Todd (Carolyn) Reese, and Jason (Lauralee) Reese; her nine grandchildren, Chad (Nina) Reese, Laura (Jaime) Cometa, Brian Cometa, Rhys Klovens, Morgan Klovens, Kathryn Reese, Evan Reese, and Logan Reese; and her four great grandchildren, Brady Reese, Jackson Reese, Adaline Obando Cometa and Santiago Obando Cometa. She is aunt to seven nieces and nephews. She will be reunited with her parents, John and Helen (Nahm) Schladen, sister Diane Zickerman, infant son Bradford, and granddaughter Kiandra Peterson. Joan is preceded in death by her first husband, Owen Reese III, the father of their children.
Joan was born in Berwyn, IL, attended New Trier High School and Northwestern University. She worked in real estate for a time and then pursued her passion, obtaining a nursing degree from William Rainey Harper College in her 40’s.
Joan was a woman of strong spirituality, independence and adventure. She traveled the world without a tour guide, visiting five continents and scores of countries, exploring exotic locales, participating in history as it unfolded and immersing herself in local culture. Her life spanned the gamut, from raising her children in the northwest suburbs, to living in the mountains of Fiji and trekking the lakes district of Kashmir and the pyramids of Egypt. She hitch-hiked through Greece in her 50’s and periodically taught conversational English in Spain. She was in Prague’s Wenceslas Square the night of the Velvet Revolution, helped tear down “The Wall” in Berlin, and called family from Pink Floyd’s performance of “The Wall “ in Australia. If you sat next to her on a plane flight, you were good friends when you arrived at your destination.
Joan devoted much of her career to psychiatric nursing in both Chicago and Southern California, retiring at age 82 from the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. She loved the arts, volunteered for many cultural organizations, founded the Sandburg Village Book Club, served regularly as a Cook County Judge of Elections and attended Unity Church in Chicago.
As Joan requested, she has gifted her body to medical science so that others may learn. A celebration of Joan’s life will be held in late summer. In lieu of flowers, Joan would ask you to live your life as a daring adventure, make every effort to live each day to the fullest, loving your family unconditionally. As everyone knows, life is short. Have no regrets!
For and condolences, www.glueckertfuneralhome.com.