PEORIA - JoAnne Helenek, 66, of Peoria passed away at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, at her residence. She died peacefully surrounded by her loved ones.
JoAnne was born on April 20, 1947, in Paxton, Ill., to Howard "Pete" and Regina M. (Streff) Bowen. She married Henry L. Helenek on April 14, 1973. They enjoyed 40 years of marriage.
She also was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Philip Bowen.
She is survived by her husband, Henry Helenek of Peoria, Ill.; her daughter, Katherine Helenek of Wauwatosa, Wis.; her sisters, Betty Pruitt of Paxton, Ill., and Virginia Howard of Miami Springs, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.
JoAnne graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with a bachelor's degree in Music Education. She then received a master's degree from Bradley University in Finance.
She began teaching instrumental music and then moved on to become reading coordinator at Tyng School for about 20 years, until her retirement in 2009.
She loved playing the saxophone and clarinet in the Peoria POPS orchestra. She also enjoyed golfing, tennis and walking. She was an avid University of Illinois football and basketball fan, watching every game in her Orange Krush sweatshirt.
A memorial service will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at the Peplow Pavilion in the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center at Bradley University. Social hour will start at 5 p.m., with music, drinks and hors d'oeuvres (open-house style). Words and memories about her will be shared at 7 p.m. Parking is available in the Bradley parking deck off Main Street. A Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Paxton, Ill., at St. Mary's and a graveside service at Glen Cemetery will follow.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate or Illinois CancerCare.