Death Notices, Obituaries, Park Forest

Obituary: Joan Bogar Crabb

January 16, 1931 – April 8, 2024

Joan Bogar Crabb
Joan Bogar Crabb (Family)

Joan Elizabeth Hieser Bogar Crabb died on April 8, 2024, in Park Forest, IL, in her home surrounded by her loving daughters.

She was born January 16, 1931, in Hopedale, IL, to Wilmer and Alice Hieser, the oldest of four children. As a child, she spent summers on her paternal grandparents’ farm, which she recalled as some of the happiest times in her life. Joan was valedictorian of her high school class and attended college afterward, where she met James Bogar. They were married in 1952 and had four daughters: Anne, Karen, Linda, and Janine.

A Move to Park Forest

In 1957, the young family moved to the new Chicago suburb of Park Forest. While raising her daughters, Joan volunteered for the local Art Center and wrote part-time for the two local newspapers. When her children were older, Joan returned to college and, in 1968, received a master’s degree in English from Roosevelt University. She taught English as a Second Language while doing additional post-graduate work at Loyola University.

Joan thrived in college. These were times of turbulent change for women, including for Joan. She got divorced in the early 1970s. In the early 1980s, Joan took a reporting job in Wheaton, IL. There, she met and later married fellow journalist and author Richard Crabb. While in Wheaton, Joan taught college English, tutored high-school students, and grew an amazing flower garden. Joan and Richard moved to Lincoln, IL, in 1995 to be near her aging parents. There, she tutored at Lincoln College while caring for her family members.

Near to Daughters

After the deaths of her parents, brother, and husband, Joan moved back to Park Forest in 2005 to be near two of her daughters. She moved into a co-op and became re-involved in the community. Daughters Karen and Anne lived nearby, and over the years, Joan needed and received more and more of their help. This enabled her to stay in her own home until the very end.

Joan had many interests and pursued them throughout her long life. She had a deep appreciation of nature and supported its protection. She volunteered for the Thorn Creek Audubon Society and wrote the newsletter for many years. Joan was a lifelong birdwatcher and enjoyed animals – especially cats. Joan loved opera, played classical piano, and appreciated folk music. And, of course, she loved the written word. She wrote poetry, short stories, and family history, helped Richard with his book projects, and formed a poetry group she participated in until the last year of her life. As a former journalist, Joan was a newshound. She also supported human rights issues and was a lifelong Democrat.

Family Legacy

Her four daughters survive Joan: Anne Rosen, Crete, IL; Karen Taylor (Steve McCabe), Park Forest, IL; Linda Bogar, Gurnee, IL; and Janine Bogar (Robert Payne), Olympia, WA; and a brother, Tom Hieser, Hopedale, IL. Other survivors include five grandchildren: Odessa Aronson, Gabriel Taylor, Jack McCabe, Wesley Payne, and Alan Payne; two great-grandchildren: Audrey Aronson and Jason Aronson; a nephew and two great-nieces: Chris Hieser, Madison Hieser, and Reagan Hieser; a cousin, Rebecca McDonald, San Diego, CA; a stepson, Owen Crabb (Ann); and two step-grandchildren, Michael Crabb and Jenny Crabb.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Crabb, her parents, Wilmer and Alice Hieser, two brothers, Michael Hieser and John Hieser, and stepdaughter Annie Crabb.

Memorials can be made to the Thorn Creek Audubon Society, the Mennonite Disaster Service, the International Crane Foundation, or the Public Broadcasting System. Joan will be interred in the Shilo Cemetery in Hopedale, IL, along with her brothers, parents, and grandparents.