Obituary of Jean Ann Hooks
Jean Ann (Fitzgerald) Hooks, a lifelong resident of Joliet, died at home Monday, May 31, 2021 of complications from her 8-year challenge with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She was surrounded by her beloved husband and their daughters.
The youngest child of Catherine and Raymond Fitzgerald, Jean grew up at the corner of Hunter and Marion Streets in Joliet. She graduated from St. Patrick School (1965) and St. Francis Academy (1969). She completed her formal education through the St. Joseph Hospital School of Radiology (1971). For several years, she worked as an x-ray tech at St. Joseph Hospital and Joliet Medical Group.
Jean and Steve had their first date on February 2, 1969 as seniors at St. Francis Academy and Joliet Catholic High School. They went to see the movie Camelot and dined at Rax Roast Beef. That night was the beginning of a truly beautiful bond. In their 50+ years together, they raised their loving daughters, welcomed sons-in-law, delighted in grandchildren, traveled the world, cultivated lifelong friendships and loved each other. Together, they created a life filled with joy, positivity and fun.
Jean lived with multiple sclerosis for 47 years, but she never let her physical limitations define her. Unfailingly resilient and positive, she was brave in a million different ways. She chose to be happy, and to share that joy with the people around her. She had a guiding principle: be kind and be generous.
Jean knew everyone in town and in the great Joliet way, if she didn’t know you, she knew your cousin or an in-law. Jean loved the countless family trips to Siesta Key, Florida, her kids’ and grandkids’ interests and activities, Fridays at the beauty parlor with her sister Kay and the daily reading of the Irish sports page—the obituaries. She dubbed her electric scooter “Joy” and the vanity plates on her accessible van read MISS DAISY.
Jean lived a beautiful life. Her favorite roles were mom, grandmother, sister and aunt--you didn’t have to be an actual family member to receive her love and support. Knowing her was a gift; loving her was an honor. She will be incredibly missed, but memories of her grace-filled life will stay with us forever.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents Catherine (Schweizer) and Raymond Fitzgerald, grandson Finnegan Jerad Abbott, in-laws Agnes (Scholl) and Walter Hooks and nieces Mary Alice Cook, Kathleen Cook and Christine (Kris) Fitzgerald Toborg.
She is survived by her devoted husband of 46 years Stephen and beloved daughters Colleen (Jerad) Abbott of Joliet and Anne (Michael) Meyer of Glen Ellyn. She was the joyful “Geeg” of Jacob Michael, Grace Catherine, Lila Rose, Vivian Jean and Elizabeth (Bit) Agnes Abbott of Joliet and Walter (Wally) Fitzgerald, William (Will) Bernard and Cecilia Jean Meyer of Glen Ellyn. Jean was the baby sister of Catherine (Kay) (the late Freeman) Cook, Thomas (JoAnn) Fitzgerald, William (Marcia) Fitzgerald and adored sister-in-love to Terry (the late W. David) Hooks, Thomas (Lee Ann Banas) and Eileen (Ralph) Gutierrez. She was a much-loved aunt to dozens of nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Sunday, June 6 from 3:00-6:00 pm at Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Road, (at Essington Road), Joliet. In true Jeanie style, friends are asked to wear vibrant, colorful clothes. Private interment will be held at Resurrection Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held at Steve and Jean’s home at 400 Rollingwood Lane in Joliet on Monday, June 7 beginning at 5:00 pm with sharing at 5:30 pm. Jean loved a big party. You will honor her with your presence.
The Hooks family extends great thanks and appreciation to all of the health care providers who cared for Jean with great compassion. Dr. Wendy Stock and Dr. Anand Patel from the University of Chicago Medical Center saw her joy and resilience. We are deeply grateful for their expert care and kindness over the last eight years. Jayne Alessio and Teresa Govoni from Newsome Home Health Care brightened her days with their visits. And in her final weeks, the staff at Lightways Hospice and Serious Illness Care provided great support to Jean and her family.
Memorial gifts may be made to the NeuroImmune Center Research Fund at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where Jean’s granddaughter Grace Abbott is a patient. Checks made out to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation can be mailed to P.O. Box 781352, Philadelphia, PA 19178-1352. Please remember to write in honor of the Hooks/Abbott family on the memo line of the check. Gifts may also be made online at http://www.chop.edu/give. Please be sure to note the NeuroImmune Center Research Fund as the specific area of the hospital you would like your donation to support.
For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit her Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com