Joseph S. Greenberg
December 23, 1925 - September 2, 2021
- 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