Joyce Ballantine Poggi

–  06/19/2011


Joyce Ballantine Poggi, 79, a long time resident of Villa Park, died Sunday June 19, 2011 from complications associated with ovarian cancer.

Born in Chicago on Oct 21, 1931. Joyce was a graduate and the commencement speaker, Oak Park River Forest High School Class of 1949. Joyce felt a deep bond to Oak Park River Forest High and helped organize class reunions as a way to keep in touch with all of her old long time friends.

From Oak Park High School she attended Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

In 1953 Joyce received her B.S. in Political Science from Stanford University. She kept herself active those four years with Foreign Scholarship Committee, as President; Row Cap and Grown and personally initiated the “Lone Woman Rule” This new standard of conduct was adopted by The Association of Women Students and is currently in the handbook. The” Lone Woman Rule” allowed a woman to enter the downstairs of a men’s residence alone. Previous to the Lone Woman Rule women were prohibited from entering a male residence alone, regardless of the nature of the visit.

After Stanford, Joyce and a close friend (Carol) traveled to Europe and North Africa

(Morocco). Upon returning she continued her work in Washington D.C. at the Office of International Labor Affairs. On a return trip to Florence Italy, Joyce married a handsome Italian, Eugenio (Ennio) Egisto Poggi. Ennio was a translator for N.A.T.O., who studied Art at the University of Florence and worked as a merchant of fine silks and linens at the Mercato Nuovo. He was the love of her life.

Ennio and Joyce resided in Chicago, starting a family with 3 sons. Tragically Ennio was killed in an automobile accident when the boys were very young, so many plans changed in her life due to the challenges of a single parenthood in the 1960’s.

Joyce had a myriad of employment endeavors from working in real estate (Sloan Realty and Remax West). Tutoring and translating for local school district (District 45), convention services in the hotel industry (Indian Lakes Resort, Bloomingdale, IL) and was involved with a partnership that opened a full service bookstore (Poor Richards, Wheaton, IL). Joyce was such an asset that she was awarded the Secretary of the Year award by Wally Phillips, WGN Radio Station. Wally Phillips was remembered as saying, how amazed he was that she had raised three boys on her own.

For the past 15 years and up to the day Joyce was hospitalized on April 20, she worked with her son Larry at their businee- Funky Java Coffeehouse in Villa Park, IL. Working as a barista Joyce utilized her political science background, her natural caring personality and her quick wit. Loved by many, missed by all, Joyce was a cup of energy that was sparked not by caffeine but by loving compassion for all of her regulars.

Along with coffee Joyce had a passion for sharing travel with friends and family, she had recently reconnected with friends in Washington D.C. and spent a couple of relaxing weeks in Hawaii with her son Lloyd.

Fabulous mother of three sons- David (Michelle), Larry (Cris) and Lloyd. Amazing grandmother (Nonna) to Brook, Tyler, Adrian, Jacque, Shaun, Valentina, Ennio, Michael, Dixon and Emma. Joyce is quoted as saying,” The increasing number of grandchildren contributes to a colorful, satisfying life”

Ditto Joyce, Ditto

Memorial visitation will be Wednesday June 22, 2011 at Steuerle Funeral Home 350 S. Ardmore Ave, Villa Park, IL from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. service by long time friend, Charles Emery “The Rev”

In lieu of flowers memorials to your favorite charity. For info 630-832-4161 or



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