Cover photo for Joan L. Figatner's Obituary
Joan L. Figatner Profile Photo
1948 Joan 2024

Joan L. Figatner

February 14, 1948 — June 5, 2024

River Forest

Joan Louise (Cowan) Figatner, age 76, passed away on June 5th, at her home of 48 years in River Forest, Il. leaving an emptiness in the hearts of all that knew her.

Joan was born in Oak Park IL. on Valentine's Day in 1948. The irony of her birthdate and her capacity to love and be loved by so many could never be ignored. Upon meeting Joan, her stunning and natural beauty was the first impression left on people. But it was her laughter, kindness and bright personality that endured in people's minds after getting to know her.

Joan attended Hawthorne Elementary School and Oak Park-River Forest High School in Oak Park. Joan's academic success was at times overshadowed by her extra-curricular achievements such as service club member, student council member, Girls Club president, cheerleader and Homecoming Queen. Joan graduated as an honor roll student and was off to attend University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana on a work study scholarship. She pledged Pi Beta Phi sorority and has remained friends for life with so many of her sisters.

After college in the summer of 1970, Joan married Jim Figatner, her high school sweetheart. They took up residence in Champaign where Jim pursued post graduate studies and Joan worked at School Music Service to pay the bills. In the summer of 1972, they back-packed for 9 weeks in Europe and then moved to Ann Arbor MI. where Jim was in private business and Joan worked for the Ann Arbor Public Schools. They bought their first home and had their first child, Dan, in Ann Arbor and generally enjoyed the life of a 2 income family.

In 1976, they moved back to River Forest and have lived in the same house for the last 48 years, and had their second child, Katie. Joan's philosophy was to stay put, surrounded by friends and family and a great home. Why rock the boat?

Staying at home and raising the children through grammar school was Joan's priority. After that she worked as a pre-school aid and an administrative sub at Oak Park-River Forest High School and River Forest Public schools. Then she began her 19 year career as the school secretary at Lincoln School, across the street from her home. It was in that role that she became friends with hundreds of families throughout the years. Everyone seemed to know Mrs. Figatner wherever she went. She became a true River Forest legend.

Through the years, her many activities such as Morton Arboretum volunteer, Food Co-op volunteer and membership chairperson of the Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest and of course tending to her own garden occupied some of her free time. Eventually, with 5 grandchildren (all local) her role as Super Grammy became a large part of her identity, and she now has 5 Grammy Awards presented by each grandchild to prove it.

Joan, Jim and the family were much traveled through the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe as well as Lake Geneva WI. and Diamond Lake in Michigan where the children have taken up second residences. Somehow, most of her travels would end up on a beach somewhere sipping a chardonnay. She loved swimming with the kids, water skiing and just bobbing in the lake.

Some people are remembered for the grand gestures and great accomplishments of their lives. Joan will always be remembered for all the little things that made her great.

Joan is survived by her beloved husband Jim Figatner, her loving children Dan (Kat) Figatner and Katie (Matt) Feodoroff, cherished grandchildren Chloe, Chase and Britain Feodoroff and Dezi and EJ Figatner and dear siblings Jim (Jenni) Cowan, Susan (late Tom) Mauck and the late Michael (Sharlyn) Cowan.


The memorial service for Joan will be live-streamed on
June 23rd at 3:00pm
for those unable to attend the service.
Click on the live-stream box below to access after 2:45pm.
A recorded version will remain online for later viewing.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan L. Figatner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Memorial Visitation

Sunday, June 23, 2024

12:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home and Cremation Services

2447 Des Plaines Ave, North Riverside, IL 60546

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home and Cremation Services

2447 Des Plaines Ave, North Riverside, IL 60546

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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