Cover photo for Jean Herbst's Obituary
Jean Herbst Profile Photo
1935 Jean 2020

Jean Herbst

December 28, 1935 — August 8, 2020


Jean A. Herbst

Age 84 of Joliet, IL, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at Amita Health St. Joseph Medical Center, with her loving children by her side.

Born December 28, 1935, in Joliet, Jean was a daughter of Martin and Anna (Née Buchar) Juricic. She was raised in the Joliet area and was educated at St. Joseph Grade School and St. Francis Academy - Class of 1953. On November 13, 1954, Jean married the love of her life, Gerald (Jerry) Herbst in St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Jean led an extraordinary life with family as her primary focus. She was a kind, gentle and devoted wife, mother and grandmother.  She enjoyed sharing childhood memories of going to the Victory Garden, and having shoes resoled, as the family was not able to afford new shoes.  Her parents raised rabbits and chickens during World War II, while sugar, flour, and other essentials were rationed.  Sundays were for family time, often spent with her parents and sister Joyce at the river in Plainfield where their day consisted of fishing and would end with a weenie roast for the four of them.

While raising her own children, Jean was proud to be an integral member of the Troy Grade School and Joliet West High School band programs and served as the secretary and uniform manager for the Joliet West High School Band. Jean was extremely generous sharing her time, talents, and treasures.  She spent countless hours crocheting hats for service men and women which were distributed though Operation Care Package and baby blankets which she donated to Birthright.

Jean found it easy to make friends and often spoke effortlessly to people she did not know at various events and gatherings.  She enjoyed talking with her friends on a frequent basis and was loved by all who were fortunate to have met her.  Her gift of conversation often led her husband to tell her lovingly and jokingly “Say goodbye Jean”.

Jean was a devout Catholic her entire life and enjoyed attending Mass and praying the rosary for all in need.  She also enjoyed gardening, tending to her plants and flowers, and watching the birds and wildlife in her yard.

Jean was also very active in the church community.  She was an active member of the St. Agnes Sodality and the Blessed Virgin Mary Society at St. Joseph Parish: the Sacred Heart League at St. John the Baptist Parish; the Council of Catholic Women, where she was honored as Woman of the Year in 2002; the Chairperson of the Respect for Life and the Vocation Committees of St. Ambrose Parish; the Junior Catholic Women’s League; KSKJ – St. Genevieve Lodge #108; and Treasurer of the Slovenian Union of America (formerly Slovenian Women’s Union of America), where she was honored as Woman of the Year in 2006.  Jean and her husband Jerry were active participants of the Organ Transplant Support Group (OTS) in Naperville, IL, and spent numerous hours volunteering at the Illinois Driver’s License Facility.  They were honored with the Presidential Award from OTS in 2004 for their contributions in promoting organ donation and organ donor awareness in the community. She devoted twenty-three years of loving care to Jerry who was a liver transplant recipient from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Jean was a dedicated employee of the Ordinance Ammunition Command (OAC), Argonne National Laboratory, College of St. Francis, and the Burr Oak Library System.

Survivors include her children; Rev. Robert M. Herbst, OFM Conv, of Nevada/California, Rita (Herbst) Bottomley of Joliet, Renee Herbst of Joliet, and granddaughter Elaine Bottomley of Joliet, as well as numerous cherished family members and friends. She was a proud godmother for Marilyn Boucher, Jerry Buchar, Tiffany McEachern, and Timothy Human.  Jean was deeply loved, will be profoundly missed, and her memory will live on in the hearts of all who loved her.

Jean was preceded in death by her loving, funny, and devoted husband of 60 years, Gerald R. (Jerry) Herbst (2015); her parents, Martin and Anna Juricic; sister, Joyce (late Richard) Korst; nephew, Alan Kopta; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Alois and Marie (Née Welter) Herbst, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation will be held on Monday, August 17, 2020 between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home, 1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL 60435.

Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. officiated by Rev Robert Herbst, OFM, Conv.

Due to limited seating capacity in Church, you are required to make a reservation ( 815-735-2125 ) to attend the funeral mass.

Jean will be laid to rest with her loving husband Jerry in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, IL following the Mass.

Following Jean’s example of generosity, memorials may be made in Jean’s memory for any of the following organizations that were dear to her: St. Ambrose CCW Food Basket Drive, 1705 Burry Circle Drive, Crest Hill, IL  60403; Operation Care Package, 120 Jessie Street/Box 175, Manhattan, IL 60442; Birthright of Joliet, 310 N. Hammes Suite LL7, Joliet, IL  60435.

Face masks and social distancing are required in the Funeral Home Chapel and at the Church.

Friends may sign the online guest book by logging onto:

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the genuine care and direction of Kenneth A. Plese, in Joliet, IL 815-735-2125 .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean Herbst, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, August 17, 2020

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home

1500 Black Rd, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

St. Ambrose Catholic Church

1705 Burry Cir Dr, Crest Hill, IL 60403

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Committal Services

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Starts at 12:30 pm (Central time)

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

20953 W Hoff Rd, Elwood, IL 60421

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 32

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree