Joseph Francis Borowski, Jr. died on November 27, 2022, at age 95 in Elgin, IL. Joe was born November 16, 1927, in Calumet City to Joseph F. and Agnes A. (Schenold) Borowski. He married Inga Hallstrom on June 15, 1952. Inga died in April 2021. Joe had 3 siblings who predeceased him, David, Virginia and Rita. Joe is survived by two daughters; Terri Kobel and her spouse, Randy of Champaign, IL; and Elise Borowski who lives with six other women in a CILA home in Elgin run by St. Coletta/WI. He is also survived by two grandsons (Eric and David Kobel and their spouses), five nephews, three nieces and a sister-in-law, Shirley Hallstrom.
For the past 30 years, Joe and Inga resided in West Dundee, following 28 years in Wheeling, IL. Prior to that, they both taught school and lived in various communities in Central and Southern Illinois. Joe had many and various interests. He was a very fine musician, playing clarinet and saxophone. He was a skilled handyman/home remodeler and a single engine Cessna pilot. He loved sports teams, especially the Chicago White Sox, and the Fighting Illini. He was a hunter/fisherman, vegetable gardener, and an avid reader of nonfiction, especially related to politics, Abraham Lincoln, and WWII. He loved to golf and coached golf teams in high school and college. He also coached high school basketball and refereed. He played league bowling for many years with friends from work and his church. He enjoyed “cutting the carpet” and twirling his favorite partner, Inga. He loved playing bridge and pinocle with his neighbors and friends. He was devoted to seeing his daughter, Elise, well cared for and ensured she had lots of enriching life experiences…travel, enjoying good food at restaurants, playing games, and encouraging her artistically. He was a devout Roman Catholic and rose through the ranks of the Knights of Columbus to Grand Knight. He was generous in many aspects of his life. He established a very active and successful alumni group for his high school alma mater and initiated a scholarship program for current students who attend the school. He authored several journal articles related to his work in learning resources.
Joe graduated from Thornton Fractional High School in Calumet City in 1946. Joe enlisted in the Army Air Corp after high school and played in the band for 3 years. He rose to the rank of sergeant. He took advantage of the veteran education benefits to obtain a BA in Music Education from Chicago Musical College (1952) and MME (1957) in music education from Roosevelt University. After serving as a high school music teacher and band director, he decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Library Science (1964) at the University of Illinois and also worked toward an advanced certificate in Administration from the University of Illinois. He ended his career as the director of the Learning Resource Center at Oakton Community College in Niles. After retiring, he started a kitchen/bath remodeling company. Joe and Inga traveled during retirement enjoying a rafting trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, a biking trip in Hawaii, and a 50th anniversary trip to South America, visiting Machu Pichu and the Galapagos Islands. Joe lived life to the fullest in his incredible 95 years.
A funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 2, 2022 at 11 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena in West Dundee. Joe’s remains will be reunited with Inga and interred at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Joliet in June (on their wedding anniversary). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Jenny Berg Restricted Fund, St. Coletta/WI, N4637 County Rd Y, Jefferson, WI, 53549