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Lucille J. "Lucija" (Brulc) DragovanMarch 8, 1925 ~ January 17, 2018 (age 92)
Lucille J. (nee Brulc) Dragovan, age 92, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. She was surrounded by her loving family at her side in the same home that she was born in 92 years ago in Joliet, IL.
Lucille is survived by her loving children, Bill D. of Joliet, IL, Wileen of Hermosa Beach, CA, and Mark of Pasadena, CA, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Preceded in death by her caring husband of 56 years, William J. Dragovan; parents, Alois (Louis) Brulc, Sr. and Mary Cecilia (nee Puśnik) Brulc; four sisters, Mary (Guido) Piunti, Ella (Joseph) Gregorec, Frieda (Geno) Baldazzi, and Lillian Brulc; three brothers, Louis (Angeline) Brulc, Jr., Joseph (Nora) Brulc, and Frank (Adeline) Brulc; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Lucy was a devoted wife, mother, teacher, friend, and artist. Lucy studied at both the Art Institute of Chicago (under famed artist LeRoy Neiman, amongst others) and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, earning a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking. She taught art at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, adjunct faculty at Lewis University, and Joliet Junior College. Additionally, she taught many generations of children their first art lessons at various schools, including Montessori and St. Joseph’s school in Joliet, St. Rose in Wilmington, and Chaney school in Crest Hill. She tutored them all to know line, shape, value, texture, and color.
Lucy (Lucija was her artist signature name) was a master watercolor artist (MWS, NWS, TWSA) and had an extensive and award-winning exhibition record. She served on the board for the Midwest Watercolor (Transparent) Society for 5 Years. For the past 40 years, Lucy has been exhibiting in national and international watercolor exhibits and has received numerous awards. She earned 22 signature awards which are presented to those watercolorists accepted into three exhibits of each watercolor society, most notably the National Watercolor Society (NWS) at their 80th Anniversary International Exhibit. One of the most prominent accolades that she received was the Edgar A. Whitney Award at the esteemed American Watercolor Society’s 135th Annual International Exhibition in New York City for her painting “A Light Within.” Lucy’s other honored paintings are prominently featured in three Watercolor books published by Rockport Publishers, Inc., of Massachusetts and her mural work is on display in the book “Murals: The Great Walls of Joliet.”
In 1994, Lucille was commissioned by the city of Joliet to create 10 murals portraying the Slovenian immigrant experience. The customs, ceremonies, work ethic, love of family, respect for the home, and especially the education of their children in the New World are the focal points of the series. The murals (A Journey, Slovenia to America) are located at Scott and Ohio streets in Joliet, IL.
Lucy (Lucija) Dragovan’s work that is on permanent display at the Slovenian Cultural Center in Lemont, IL, are the wedding scene and the harvest scene panels from her 10 panel ethnic Slovenian Murals that she was commissioned to paint by the city of Joliet, IL. Her work is also on display in public and private collections at the University of California, Irvine, California State University-Fullerton, Portland, OR, Denver, CO, Michigan, New York City, Graz, Austria, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Exhibitions in juried shows of her artwork were in Italy, France, and throughout the Unites States and Canada. Her painting “Church of Sveta Luija” was picked by the then President of Slovenia to be on permanent display in a national art museum in Most na Soci, Slovenia.
Her paintings concentrated on her passion for the earth as well as the friends and family who are the subjects for her figure studies. Her vibrant and bold use of color communicates a deep understanding of nature and the connection that we share with all living things. Flowers of every variety are viewed in great detail or seen as a large group with masterful control of color and design.
Although Lucy loved to travel near and far throughout her life, she mostly enjoyed hosting gatherings at her home for many years with her husband and children. People from all over the world and all walks of life prized her welcoming hospitality as well as loyal neighbors, friends, and family. She will be deeply missed by everyone that knew her and enjoyed her endearing sense of humor and lovely laugh. The family would like to offer a special thank you to her cherished caretakers and friends Miranda Brown, Mary Fran Smaron, Donna Brooks, Kelsey Weyforth, and Jeanelle Smith.
Additionally, the family would like to thank the nurses, aids, social workers, and clergy from the Compassionate Care Hospice that helped Lucy and her family at her home.
A woman of great faith, Lucy was a lifelong parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Joliet, a lifelong member of the Slovenian Women’s Union, the KSKJ, and the St. Agnes Sodality.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Lucille’s name to St. Joseph Church Museum would be appreciated.
Per Lucy’s wishes, cremation rites have been accorded.
A celebration of Lucille’s life will begin on Saturday, January 27, 2018 with a memorial visitation at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 416 N. Chicago Street, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass of Christian Burial to be held at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Joliet. There will be no funeral home visitation or service.
Obituary and Tribute Wall for Lucille J. Dragovan at www.tezakfuneralhome.com or for information, 815-722-0524. Arrangements entrusted to Tezak's Home to Celebrate Life.