Joseph L. Corsello
Born: September 8, 1932
Died: January 26, 2018
Joseph L. Corsello, age 85, of Morris, passed away Friday, January 26, 2018.
Born September 8, 1932 in Riverdale, Illinois, Joe was the 12th child of Italian immigrants, Louis and Frances Corsello. He graduated from Thornton Township High School, and went on to attend Illinois Wesleyan University, where he left to serve in the U.S. Army at the conclusion of the Korean conflict. Following his honorable discharge, Joe returned to Illinois Wesleyan where he joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. It was then during his early teaching career that Joe earned his Master's degree from the University of Illinois.
Mr. C., as his students fondly referred to him, began his teaching career at Morris Community High School in 1959. The same year that he married his college sweetheart, Norma Fisher. While teaching art and ceramics at MCHS, Joe served many times as a class sponsor, Director of Student activities, student council advisor, and a cheerleader coach. He also established the Delta Phi Art Club to foster his students' love of art. In 1978, Joe was recognized as the Illinois State Teacher of the Year.
As he retired from MCHS, Joe began a new career as an art teacher at Immaculate Conception School where he taught for 22 years. During this time, Joe was awarded the Dolly Parton Chasing Rainbows Award. In the last years of his life, Morris Community High School honored Joe by naming him as an inaugural inductee to their Hall of Distinction, and the Morris Rotary Club recognized Joe with the Paul Harris Fellow Award. These last awards were bookends to numerous recognitions and awards Joe received for his generosity to his community, dedication to his profession, and love of his students.
Joe's alter ego was St. Nick. He played Santa for 45 years, and often spent his Christmases bringing joy to the less fortunate. Joe was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, Knights of Columbus duPontaris Council, American Legion Post 294, and the Grundy County Historical Society. He was also a charter member of the Morris Kiwanis Club.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Norma (2012); and his eleven brothers and sisters.
He is survived by his children, Holly (Jack) Howard, Trudy (Kim) DesLauriers, and Carter (Jackie) Corsello. He was the proud grandfather of John (Anna) Howard, Joe Howard (Liz Kinate), Marc DesLauriers (fianc Kelsey Feiden), Jackie DesLauriers, and Luke Corsello.
The family will receive friends for a visitation at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 600 East Jackson Street in Morris on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and again on Wednesday morning from 9:00 a.m. until time of funeral service 10:00 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Reverend Ed Howe, CR presiding. Burial will follow in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Morris, where Joe will be laid to rest with his late wife. Full military honors will be provided by the Morris Color Guard and the United States Army.
Preferred memorials in Joe's memory may be made to Immaculate Conception School, 505 East North Street, Morris, Illinois 60450.
Family and friends may sign the guest book, upload photographs or share Joe's memorial page online by logging onto: www.ReevesFuneral.com
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Morris. (815-942-2500)
Published by Morris Herald-News on Jan. 29, 2018.