Joan Munson Prims
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Joan Munson Prims, age 88 of Burr Ridge formerly of Oak Park and Hinsdale, Illinois

Joan was born in Chicago and attended Chicago public schools. After graduating as salutatorian of Austin High School, she entered Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin. There she met her future husband, James E. Prims. She majored in anthropology and earned her Phi Beta Kappa key. Joan and Jim married December 26, 1952, during her senior year in college, at Glenview Naval Air Station, as Jim had entered the Navy after graduating earlier that year.

Joan and Jim had three children and enlivened their home with cats and kittens. While living in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago, Joan earned a Master's degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago. In her limited spare time, she was active in the League of Women Voters and a member of the American Association of University Women.

The family moved to Hinsdale in 1967. During these years she played piano accompanied by Jim's recorder. Life changed when, in 1969, Jim died after sixteen years of marriage. She had to raise three children ranging from a freshman in high school to a third grader. Tragedy struck again in 1974 when her oldest child, Cathryn, died suddenly while away at college.

In Hinsdale, she was a member of the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale for over 40 years. Joan served on the Library Board for six years from 1971 through 1977, and during her tenure plans were made for an expansion of the library. She also proposed displaying local artists' work at the library, a practice that still continues today.

Joan worked in banking and then as a stockbroker. Once her children were out of college she travelled in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and annually to the Bahamas. When home she would enjoy her cats, her fifty-plus years as a New Yorker magazine subscriber, her longtime membership in the University of Chicago book club, and walks in Fullersburg Woods. The first of her four grandchildren was born on Joan's birthday in 1990. Retirement gave her more time for travel, grandchildren, and reading

Joan's parents, Gus A. Munson and Camille Bouffard Munson came from Georgetown, Texas. They settled in Chicago as newlyweds, where Joan was born at the end of 1931. Joan was very close to her younger sister, Billie Corrigan, and they enjoyed weekly phone calls for most of their lives. Billie predeceased Joan.

Joan is survived by her son, Peter (Carol); daughter, Leslie (Michael) Donahue; grandchildren Julia "JP" Prims, Emily Prims, Lizzy Donahue, and Alice Amell; her nephews Robert and Michael Corrigan and niece Carolyn Dale; and four grandnieces.

Joan's remains are interred in Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook with Jim's and Cathy's. She was clever, sparkly and fiercely caring. She was a defender of her family and worthy causes. She loved and protected cats. Her spirit will be missed in this world. Memorial arrangements will be made later.

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Published in Chicago Tribune on May 17, 2020.
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3 entries
May 22, 2020
Until she retired, Joan was the best stockbroker I ever had. And when she retired, she picked her successor for my account, based on my investing interests, rather than let the brokerage pick him.
Dennis Mason
May 19, 2020
Joan was a wonderful person! i had the great pleasure of sitting at the desk in front of her at Smith Barney on LaSalle Street for several years, and she was truly a breath of fresh air. She had an excellent sense of humor, bright outlook on life, love for her family, generosity for her co-workers, and good ideas also! So glad she made it to 88...she made the most of life,never looking back, always forward. May God bless Joan and her family now and always.
George Miller
May 18, 2020
Joan was a wonderful person and Im so glad to have had the privilege of her acquaintance ! Condolences and blessings on the family. Thanks Leslie, for introducing us to your Mom. Blessings, Joan!
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