We are sorry to announce that Joseph L. Corsello ’59 passed away Friday, January 26, 2018.
Joe’s time at IWU was put on pause as 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.
He will be dearly missed.
Read his full obituary here: https://www.reevesfuneral.com/notices/Joseph-Corsello