Joan L. Silvern, nee Lipman, age 90.
Joan was a lifelong Chicagoan spending formative years and much of her early married life in Hyde Park. She attended Tobe Coburn School of Design in New York where she focused on fashion and retail merchandising, and the University of Colorado/Boulder, where she met the love of her life, the late Joseph C. Silvern. Together, they raised four children: Paul (Judith) Silvern; Cathy Silvern; Peter (Geneva) Silvern and Matt (Kelly Cook) Silvern. They were the proud grandparents of Zachary, Rachel, Natalie, Joshua, Wyatt and Micah. Joan was the younger sister of the late Dr. Byron Lane.
Joan and Joe were married at KAM (now KAM-Isaiah Israel) in Hyde Park in 1948 and were one of the first families to move into the earliest phase townhomes constructed for the University of Chicago's area urban renewal program. They were involved in local politics, community development, integration initiatives and sent all four of their children to the Hyde Park YMCA Camp Martin Johnson, one of the first racially integrated summer camps in the United States. The family moved to Evanston in 1968 and carried on their tradition of community engagement.
In many ways, Joan was ahead of her time as a "Working Mother." Never one to stay home and only attend to family needs, her eclectic interests and career included retail merchandising and sales of contemporary ("mid-century") home furnishings, jewelry, lighting fixtures, Creative Playthings and more with Accent! and Gifts and Gadgets in Hyde Park. The stores, owned by her parents, the late Dave and Rose Lipman, were a forerunner to Crate&Barrel. Joan later created one of the first "job share" concepts in the Chicagoland area, working with her friend Pauline Baron as Administrators for a very busy Synagogue, each working part-time so they could pursue professional interests balanced with family life. Her next career tapped Joan's superb writing and editing skills when she became the Editor for Family Focus and the organization's national publications, working with founder and Board Chair, Bernice Weissbourd to nurture and strengthen young families.
Joan was deeply devoted to and supported WFMT-radio, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Lyric Opera, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Art Institute of Chicago, among other arts organizations. She had impeccable aesthetic taste in collecting art, hand-crafted jewelry and ceramics. Joan was an excellent cook who regularly organized intimate and lively dinner parties for close friends as well as huge family holiday celebrations. She and Joe traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the United States, establishing friendships wherever they went, collecting art, incredible stories and life experiences.
A celebration of Joan's life is being planned for Summer 2019 and will be announced at a later date.
Contributions in memory of Joan can be sent to:
WTTW-Channel 11/98.7 WFMT FM
5400 N. St. Louis Avenue
Chicago Botanic Gardens
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe Illinois 60022
2050 Claire Court
Glenview, Illinois 60025
Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com