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Joseph S. Greenberg

December 23, 1925 - September 2, 2021

Joseph S. Greenberg Joseph S. Greenberg
  • Funeral
  • A celebration of Joe's life will be announced at a later date

Joseph S. Greenberg (95), a beloved member of the Geneva and St. Charles communities,
passed away on September 2 after a valiant fight against cancer. Joe was born in Elgin De
cember 23, 1925. He will be remembered as the Leprechaun who delivered chocolate gold
coins to businesses and schools, the Easter Bunny who gave hugs, and the tie-dyed union
suited Santa Claus always bringing cheer on the streets! His affinity for Charles Schultz’s
Peanuts characters, especially Snoopy, was legendary. Joe was also honored to be the Grand
Marshall of the Swedish Day Parade in 2015.

Joseph was also known about town as a dancer who loved to show others what a joy dancing
could bring to their lives. He credited his love for dancing to Mrs. Peterson, a USO hostess,
who took the time to teach him to dance. He competed in the Geneva Dancing with the Stars
competition. Although he and his partner did not win, he put on an enthusiastic show. He also
performed in the Elgin Junior Service follies for 52 years.

Joe served in the Navy during World War ll. After the war he attended the Chicago Art Institute
where he met fellow student Karin Kallberg. They married in 1951 and had two children, Gary
and Nyla. Joe received his BFA from Northern Illinois in 1979.

During his long life, Joe worked for his family’s grocery store (Greenberg’s Grocery), as a cab
driver in Chicago, surveyor, real estate agent, restaurant owner (The Free Pickle), counselor at
the Kane County Youth Home, substitute art teacher, Village Inn Foods, Gromer’s grocery store
in Elgin and his last 51 years at The Fashion Walk and Little Traveler in Geneva. Joe was an
avid photographer and occasional dance instructor for future brides and grooms.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Mary, twin brothers Frank and Mort, lov
ing wife Karin Greenberg, and loved one Judy Shuler.

Joe is survived by his children, Nyla and Gary Greenberg, his numerous nephews, nieces, and
cousins, his partner of 32 years Joana Gorby, her children (Brittany and Chad) and grandchil
dren (Sam, Riggs, Addison and Skya), who lovingly called him Papa Joe. Joe is also a beloved
member of the Michael and Nancy Simon family. He was loved like a grandfather by their chil
dren Daniel and Ben.

He was beloved by many throughout his life as a surrogate father, grandfather, and friend and

Dance on Joe, you will be loved and missed.

For further information on Joe’s life see the following links:

Contributions can be made to:

Geneva Park District Foundation (memo- JSG Dance Scholarship)

710 Western Ave.

Geneva, Illinois 60134

Saint Charles Park District Foundation (memo- JSG Dance Fund)

213 Walnut St.

Saint Charles, Ill 60174


A celebration of Joe’s life will be announced at a later date


Jeffrey A Hoffman from Naperville, IL

"So sorry to hear of Joe's passing. He was a great guy and I have many fond memories of Joe, especially growing up as our families were close in Elgin days. A sad day indeed. Joe, you will be remembered! Jeff Hoffman"

Vicki Timm White from Batavia, IL

"You will be missed! So many memories of tree trim parties at Bob's and the annual exchange of Snoopy memorabilia and cows. To know Joe was to love him."

Kimberly Marqui from St. Charles, IL

"Keep dancing Joe! He will be missed. I hold fond memories of him from my Merra Lee Shop days. He was always smiling and was my “dad” that was giving me away in a bridal fashion show held at The Little Traveler. How lucky anyone was to be around this man. Joe, you will be greatly missed."

Deborah and Buzz Marqui from St. Charles, IL

"We met Jo and Joanna through Cotillion club in Saint Charles. What a joy it was to see them dance! Jo always had a smile on his face and you could see how much he loved to dance and life itself! He was a blessing to know. His life was a gift."

Deborah and Buzz Marquis from St. Charles, IL

"We met Jo and Joanna through Cotillion club in Saint Charles Illinois.It was so much fun to watch them dance! On or off the dance floor he always had a smile on his face. He was a gift and a blessing to this community!"

Maggie Brewner from SAINT CHARLES, IL

"Joe had a way of making you feel happy whenever you were around him. His infectious smile is legendary and his kindness and compassion will be sorely missed."

Laura Meza from Elgin, IL

"Although I never had a chance to meet him, my mother and sister spoke highly of him as he was my mother's landlord. He was a very patient and understanding man with a heart of gold. God bless you Mr. Greenberg."

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