Cover photo for Joan C. Traven's Obituary
Joan C. Traven Profile Photo
1932 Joan 2024

Joan C. Traven

January 25, 1932 — April 5, 2024

Joliet

Age 92 of Joliet, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 5, 2024,

at Lightways Hospice Serious Illness and Care, with her loving family at her side.  

Born on January 25, 1932 in Joliet, Joan was the daughter of Frank and Clara (Née Konowalski) Birsa.

She was raised in Rockdale and was a graduate of St. Francis Academy (Joliet Catholic Academy), class of 1949.   

On September 26, 1953, Joan married William R. Traven in St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Rockdale and they lived in Joliet, where they raised four loving children.

Before staying home to raise her family, Joan worked as a stenographer at the old St. Joseph Hospital, transcribing medical records for physicians. She returned to work as the secretary to the assistant warden at the Joliet Correctional Center and retired in 1992, after fifteen years of dedicated service.

She was a lifelong devout Catholic attending St. Ambrose Parish for over 60 years.

In retirement, she enjoyed family vacations throughout the US and traveled to England to see her favorite Regency Romance locations. 

Joan passed down her love of reading to her children and ‘invented an app for tracking reading’ before apps were even invented by keeping a stenographer notebook of all the titles that she read with start and ending dates. 

She was particularly fond of historical romance novels. When she was not reading, you could find her in her favorite chair watching Masterpiece Theatre, Upstairs Downstairs, or Downtown Abby. In her later years, she was also a big fan of reality competition shows like Survivor and Big Brother, often comparing notes with her fond friend and cousin, Lorraine, with whom she enjoyed multiple hours-long telephone chats. She taught her children and grandchildren the joy of being present. Family gatherings often involved games of Old Maid, Five Crowns, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Bingo, coloring books, and rolls of Smarties.  

Survivors include her devoted children, Joan (John) Macklin (Lancaster, SC), Janet Traven (Joliet), Joyce (Frank) Yattoni III (Yorkville) and Jeff (Ann) Traven (New Lenox); grandchildren, Laura (Stephen) Palmer (Waxhaw, NC), Erin Macklin (Noblesville, IN), Megan (Kurt) Newtoff (Crown Point, IN), Stephanie (Jim Risoli) Yattoni (Phoenix, AZ), Mallory (Lee) Rittgarn (Downers Grove), Frank (Daniela) Yattoni IV (St. Charles, MO), William and Andrew Traven (New Lenox); ten great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Arlene Birsa, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Joan was preceded in death by her loving husband of 24 years, William R. “Bill” Traven (1977); parents, Frank and Clara Birsa, and three brothers, Robert (Audrie), James, and Paul Birsa. 

A visitation will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home, 1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL 60435. 

Prayers will follow at 10:00 a.m. in the funeral home chapel, then  proceeding to St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 

1705 Burry Circle Drive, Crest Hill, IL for a Mass of Christian burial at 10:30 a.m., Rev. Ron Hilt, officiating.

Joan will be laid to rest beside her husband in Resurrection Cemetery, Romeoville, IL.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Joan’s memory to: St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Crest Hill, IL or Lightways Hospice Serious Illness and Care – lightways.org.

Relatives and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book by logging onto: www.PleseFuneralservices.com. 

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 Joan C. Traven, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, April 11, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (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.

Prayers

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (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

Thursday, April 11, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 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.

Laid to Rest

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Resurrection Catholic Cemetery

200 W Romeo Rd, Romeoville, IL 60446

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

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