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Jo Ellen Panek, 74, of Crystal Lake, was born November 12, 1944 in Chicago to Robert and Margaretta (nee Kaelke) Pfeiffer. She passed away peacefully Tuesday, January1, 2019 at her home in Crystal Lake with her family by her side.
She received her Masters in Education at Western Illinois University as well as amassing many certificates in Special Education. She used her Degree and her passion for art as an Art Teacher for District 300, her certifications as a Special Education teacher for District 300, and she then went on to teach General Education for District U46and Elgin Community College, as well as Art at Lord and Savior Lutheran School. She also served for a time as a Secretary at Richard Bernotas Middle School. She had a passion for gardening and in the summers would work at Thon's Greenhouse and Bird Store, helping customers find that perfect flower or fun bird feeder.
She enjoyed crafts and anything artistic in nature, whether it was creating a fun ornament or attending a musical or choir concert. She adored spending time with her grandchildren nurturing them and educating them only away a loving grandmother could.
She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and served her Lord faithfully in many capacities at her church. She volunteered her time to paint sets for high school productions, sew costumes, knit gloves and hats, and help in anyway whenever she was asked.
Jo Ellen is survived by her husband, Richard Panek; her children, Stephan (Michelle) Panek, and Amanda (Brenon) Steffensen; her step-children, Loree (Tom) Prchal, Kathleen Short and Mark Panek; 10 grandchildren; many greatgrandchildren; and her sister, Bonnie (Ronald) Sheirok. She is preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation will be held from 3-8pm, Sunday, January 6, 2019 at Davenport Family Funeral Home, 419 E.Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake. Funeral service will take place at11am, Monday, January 7, 2019 at Lord and Savior Lutheran Church, 9300 Ridgefield Rd., Crystal Lake. Interment to follow at River Valley Memorial Gardens in West Dundee.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Lord and Savior Lutheran Church at the address above.