We are saddened to share the news of the passing of JoAnn Barder, Willows past parent (Julie ’90, Mary ’92), grandparent (Naomi ’27), and past administrator.
Starting with her time as a Willows parent in the 1980s, JoAnn was dedicated to helping Willows students and the school. She served as the President of the Board of Directors and was an advisor to many students over the years. She later joined the staff and worked as a teacher and served in various administrative roles including Assistant Director, Dean of Students, Director of Parent Relations, and College Counselor until 2006.
The list of JoAnn’s contributions to Willows speaks to her flexibility and spirit of service. Students and colleagues fondly remember her characteristic smile and words of encouragement.
JoAnn was part of the administrative team that helped moved the school from Niles to our current location in Des Plaines. She and her husband, Bob, were instrumental in raising funds for the construction of the chapel and seeing that construction was completed.
In recent years, JoAnn enjoyed attending special events at Willows and was a supportive grandparent attending plays and Camp Soar performances.
Visitation will be held on Friday, December 2, 2022, from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Cooney Funeral Home, 625 Busse Highway, Park Ridge, IL 60068. The Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Mary of the Angels Catholic Church, 1850 N. Hermitage Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622. Interment will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 S. Wolf Road, Hillside, IL 60162.