Joe Ann Durka (nee Russo), beloved widow of Len Durka, loving mother of three sons Jeff, Jay and Jarrett Tatge from a previous marriage, cherished grandmother of Taylor Tatge and devoted friend to many cousins, friends and neighbors, passed away peacefully Tuesday, May 14, 2019, after a hard-fought battle with Lung Cancer and COPD. She was 85 years old.
Originally from Chicago, Joe Ann along with her brother and parents, relocated to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to run the now closed Shady Lawn Motel. The motel was a staple in the community for many years. She was a multi-talented singer/pianist and was a runner up in the “Miss Lake Geneva” pageant. She also liked to play the accordion and Wurlitzer organ.
She was a member of “The Lost Chords”, a Sweet Adeline Quartet group, formed in the 60’s performing throughout the state of Wisconsin and various other states. Her passion for singing and love of music filled her days, even during her final days.
Joe Ann was an avid reader of books and novels – her favorite being murder mysteries. She was a woman of many hobbies including knitting, crocheting, buying “useful” items (LOL) from late night infomercials and working crossword puzzles. She was an animal lover and loved when her fur babies came for visits. Her biggest passion however had to be watching tv. If something happened to the tv, there was sure to be a call requesting it be fixed IMMEDIATELY.
Her love of humanity was always evident. She would periodically donate to special causes which helped people, animals or the environment. Her love for mankind continues even in death, as she has donated her remains to the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois, in the hope’s advances can be made with possible cures, new medicines and perhaps medical procedures.
A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at Tower Home for Funerals, located at 4007 Joliet Ave, Lyons IL., 60534, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
In Lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society.
To send flowers to Joe Ann (Russo) Durka's family, please visit our floral section.
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123