In Memory

Joan Rylands (Schroeder) VIEW PROFILE

Joan Rylands (Schroeder)

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02/20/16 01:17 PM #1    

Katherine (Kath') Steinbring

Joan will always be Joanie to me. She will forever wear over-sized glasses that made her look even cuter. I remember being jealous of her year in Ireland. I remember how adorable she was with John. Lately, my memories are of her Facebook postings with Cole, and her holiday craft day (I hope her friends will continue the tradition). Joanie seemed to love everyone. I know she had great sadness and difficulties in her life, but she always showed her smiling face. The world and her family have lost a beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Joanie.

02/23/16 08:14 PM #2    

Carole Spevacek (Smith)

So many Morton memories but your smile is the one I will always remember. Such a great lost. Now your free of pain. RIP

07/10/18 03:41 PM #3    

John Schroeder

She Completed Me

Our first date was miniature golfing, and she beat me. That was when I knew I liked her, but I can't say that our friendship was ever steeped in romance. In fact, the only flowers that I ever bought her were corsages for school dances and such.

I knew Joan only briefly in our sophomore year of high school. When she told me that she was spending her Junior year in Ireland as an exchange student, we exchanged addresses and became pen pals. By coincidence, my family became a host family to a foreign exchange student from Chile in South American, (Franklin Munoz) during that Junior year at Morton.

Joan had changed a little during her year abroad. She learned to wear really short skirts and had gained a good 10 pounds. When no one asked her to the Senior Homecoming dance, I was happy to step up and take my pen pal to the dance.

Senior year flew by, and Joan had decided to become a teacher and attend Northern (NIU). I decided to become an Architectural Engineer on Champaign (U of I). We said good bye and of course exchanged addresses. Each year we would write back and forth, and during summer break we continued dating.

The only trouble was that I had three jobs during the summer. I was working at Cermak Pool as a lifeguard, selling newspapers Sunday mornings in front of our church, and helping to make donuts where my mother and older brother were in the business. But somehow we managed.

Then Joan did the unexpected. She finished college in 4 years! On top of that she wanted to get married, and I still had 3 years to get my Masters at U of I. So we made an illogical decision to get married at 20 years old, have a week honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies, then move to an apartment over a bar in downtown campus town.

At first Joan could only find a job as a bank teller, so I started working two jobs: delivering pizza and baking donuts just to pay the bills. I was be paid 50 cents per pizza and tip money all in cash. On a busy Sunday night, I would come home with a pizza and spread my pay, over $100, across the bedspread. We thought we were rich!

We moved back to Berwyn and couldn't believe how cheap a one bedroom apartment was, now that Joan was working as a Chicago teacher and I worked in a big Engineering company in the loop. Our years of study were finally paying off!

More to come later...

07/16/18 04:48 PM #4    

John Schroeder

Some more of her story...

For three short years we lived in our one bedroom, 3rd floor apartment in North Berwyn. We used buses and the el train to and from work, One night I invited a fellow worker and his wife for a dinner party. On the way to dinner, my friend drove past 35th and Home Avenue to show his wife the house I told him that I would buy if it ever went on sale. Low and behold, he watched a realtor place a 'For Sale' sign in front of the house. Short story - within two days the house was ours!

We were happy to keep the second floor as a rental apartment for the first 3 years. When the woman in the rental apartment was having her second child, they moved to Washington State and we were finally faced with an empty 10 room, 5 bedroom house with a baby on the way.

Queen Ann Style Victorian Home by George Franklin Barber, built in 1995.

That was actually good timing because Joan had lost he job teaching in Chicago, and we were turning 30. Child number two came 2 1/2 years later and we lived just across the alley from Irving Grade School. With Grandma and Grandpa living just three houses down from us, we had easy assess to cheap babysitting. The only snag came when I accepted a two year work assignment in Seoul, Korea, in 1993. Anna was in 3rd grade and Alan was in 1st grade. Joan found a great job in Korea on the US Youngsan Army Base, working for the USO. She became the Special Event Coordinator and she cried when she left her USO friends to go back home.

Our Berwyn house was rented until we returned from Korea in June 1995. We continued to live there until 2007, and would still be there today if I hadn't developed MS. I can no longer climb stairs.

More to come later...

07/20/18 06:00 PM #5    

Anson Seers

Thanks, John, for sharing your heartwarming reflections on a life well lived. She was a most delightful person. But . . . she's still "Joannie" to me!

07/26/18 06:35 PM #6    

John Schroeder

More of Joan's Story...

In 2004 Joan began a mission to find us a house without stairs. By now my MS had progessed to a point that even walking with a relator was difficult. She found her dream house in La Grange Highlands. 

Joan was confident that we would enjoy this open country area with a large back yard and a screened porch all under a canopy of large oak and pine trees. 

Joan was happy until she became ill in late 2015. She learned she had stage 4 colon cancer. She tried to be strong through chemo therapy, but of course the cancer ran it's course quickly and she passed early in 2016. I could not live alone in the house without assistance, but was able to move in with my daughter's family. We had always assumed that Joan would survive me, and we made no provisions for this outcome.

I will always consider her my sole mate. There is only the thought that we will be together again someday. We miss her presence every day.

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