Home 9 Obituaries 9 Joel M. Greunke

Joel M. Greunke

October 11, 1964 - October 16, 2023

Joel M. Greunke Joel M. Greunke
    October 27, 2023 | 4:00 - 7:00 P.M.
  • King of Glory Lutheran Church
    36W720 Hopps Road
    Elgin, Illinois 60123
  • Funeral
  • October 28, 2023 | Visitation: 9:00 - 10:00 A.M.
    Funeral: 10:00 A.M.
  • King of Glory Lutheran Church
    36W720 Hopps Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
  • Burial Location
    Prairie Cemetery

Joel Max Greunke, 59, of South Elgin, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Monday, October 16, 2023.

The son of the Reverend Dean M. Greunke and Janette (Meyer) Greunke, Joel was born in Memphis, Tennessee on October 11, 1964. The youngest of three children, Joel moved with his family from Memphis to Aurora, Illinois in 1969, when his father became pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church there. Joel graduated from Valley Lutheran High School in St Charles in 1982 where he played both basketball and baseball. He attended Northern Illinois University, majoring in finance, and graduated in 1986. He worked in the field of finance and credit for many years and was credit manager at FP Mailing at the time of his death.

On June 17, 2000, Joel married Christa Beth Wright, daughter of J. Curtis Wright and Nancy Murray Wright, at Zion Lutheran Church, Naperville, Illinois. They were married by Joel’s father. Joel and Christa became the parents of two daughters, Rachel in 2003 and Jessica in 2006, who were the light of his life. Joel is survived by his wife, Christa, daughters, Rachel and Jessica, mother, Janette Greunke, sister Janelle (Bill Walper) Zelensek, brother, David (Marit) Greunke, niece, Megan (Jacob) Keuker and children, Jeanette and Jackson, nephew Matthew (Kerri) Zelensek and children, Isla, Maeve, and Finn, and nephews, Jordan and Stephen Greunke, as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Joel was an avid sports fan – especially of the Chicago Cubs. He was beyond delighted when they finally won the World Series in 2016. He could often be found at local Kane County Cougars games cheering on the home team as well as at Nebraska football games rooting for daughter Rachel’s university (Go, Big Red!). He loved watching college football and basketball games every season. Joel’s collection of baseball cards was legendary, and he always enjoyed talking about the cards, the players, and the history of the game. He also had a great interest in baseball strategy and spent many happy hours playing Strat-O-Matic, especially with his nephew Stephen who shared his interest in sports. He loved listening to classic rock music and was especially a fan of Cheap Trick. If there was a Cheap Trick concert in the Chicago area, Joel was likely to be there.

His commitment to his faith formed an enormous part of Joel’s life. He taught by example, sharing his faith in service to the community at King of Glory Lutheran Church. He was an elder of the church for many years. He served on the finance committee, was an usher, worked at church livestream events and on PowerPoint presentations, always actively involved in many facets of the life of the church where he had been a member since 2000. While his background in finance frequently kept Joel occupied with the business aspects of the church, he relished being a warm and welcoming member of the community whenever and wherever needed.

Joel was a kind, loving, funny and supportive father. His girls knew they could always count on him. He took a great interest in their activities and always did his best to encourage them in whatever they wanted to do. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a generosity of spirit, and a strength of character that always provided his family with a role model that they will continue to cherish.

Joel was preceded in death by his father, Rev. Dean Greunke, and his brother-in-law, Brian Wright.

A visitation will be held on Friday, October 27 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM and on Saturday, October 28 from 9:00-10:00 AM at King of Glory Lutheran Church, 36 W 720 Hopps Road, Elgin, Illinois 60123. Funeral services for Joel will follow the visitation at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, October 28, 2023 at the church. Interment at Prairie Cemetery, Crane Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174 will take place after the service. Memorials in Joel’s memory may be made to King of Glory Lutheran Church, American Cancer Society or charity of your choice.

If you would like to provide a meal for the Greunke family, you may volunteer to do so at




Bob & Janice Zakis from South Elgin, IL

"Dear Christa, Rachel, and Jessica, please accept our sincere condolences. Joel was a huge part of King of Glory and he will be missed."

Jim McCabe from Largo, FL

"I am so sorry to hear of this unexpected loss. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Joel was a good man and I enjoyed meeting him through work at FP Mailing."

Kim (and Derrick) Anderson from Bettendorf, IA

"Christa and family, We are so very sorry for your unexpected loss! You are in our thoughts and prayers! Love, Kim, Derrick, and Kaitlyn Anderson"

Britt Davis Roe from Louisville , KY

"I am so sorry for your family's loss. Joel was a wonderful, kind person always. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone."

Patricia Italia from Roselle, IL

"I worked with Joel at FP. This is such heartbreaking news. He was such a funny and wonderful man. He will be missed dearly. Hugs to his Wife and girls. I'm so sorry for this loss."

Cindy Woods from Roselle, IL

"Christa, Rachel and Jessica - It was heartbreaking to here this news. I've worked with Joel since he started at FP and i can honestly say that he was not only a great manager to work for, he was also a great person. He was so proud of his girls and the love he had for his whole family showed whenever he talked about you all. He will be missed dearly."

Karen Binanti from Roselle, IL

"Prayers and love to you Christa and your girls. Joel was a great man he was my boss for the past 13 years, we actually started 2 weeks apart from each other and he was a great person. He will be missed. He was too young."

Patricia Casey from Indian Head Park, IL

"Prayers to you all. It was such a shock and really saddened when I heard the news. Joel was such a kind individual looked like a picture of health and I have enjoyed working with him for the past 9 years. May the wonderful memories help you get through this very hard time."

Barbara and Peter Schenck from Bozeman, MT

"Christa, Rachel, Jessica and all the Greunke family, we are so sorry and were so shocked to learn of Joel's death. It was a pleasure to know him and to see the great joy he had with his family. We admired his humor and his kindness, and we will always celebrate the fact that he made Scippy welcome! He was indeed a special man."

Don Shaw from Crystal Lake, IL

"I was so very saddened to hear of Joel's passing. God Bless and keep Joel and his entire family."

Pamela Zitkus from Clearwater , FL

"Joel was a great neighbor to me and my family when we all lived in Elgin. He will be truly missed. Christa Rachel and Jessica, please accept my deepest condolences. He loved you all so very much."

Denise Beatus Karagianis from North Aurora, IL

"So sorry for your loss. I’ll be in CA visiting my grandkids. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. May his memory be eternal in our hearts ❤️"

Susan & Jeffrey Burke from Gallatin, TN, TN

"We are so sorry for your loss. Joel was such a wonderful man. Our prayers are with you and the girls. God's peace be with you all."

Lynn Tucker from Saint Charles, IL

"Holding you all in prayer through this difficult time."

Mary Vance from Hampshire, IL

"I have not been in your position but can only imagine what you are dealing with. I was thinking about you and wanted to let you know that. Blessings to you and your family."

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