Cover photo for Julie W. Manner's Obituary
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1935 Julie 2023

Julie W. Manner

September 21, 1935 — November 26, 2023



Julie Woodruff Kitchell Manner

Julie was born September 21, 1935 and passed away peacefully November 26th at the age of 88 surrounded by her loving family.  She was the daughter of Robert and Clara Woodruff, the great granddaughter of George Woodruff, who wrote the early history of Joliet, Il.  Julie graduated from the Cathedral of St Raymond and Joliet Township High School. She maintained these friendships her entire life and bonded with the group affectionately known as the “Naughty Nine.” 

Julie graduated from Florida Southern College with a degree in elementary education. It was here that she met her fellow education major and college sweetheart, Roy “Kip” Kitchell. The couple married while in college and settled in Joliet.  Julie started teaching 2nd grade at St Paul the Apostle and raised her four children. She married her best friend Robert Manner in 1975 and both were very active in the community in various organizations. They were married 35 years, until his passing in 2010.

Julie’s many interests included the Joliet Artist League where she excelled in watercolors. She sold many paintings and won art shows as a result of this talent. She also modeled in the area and was featured in several fashion shows and local newspaper ads.  She took pride in her home landscaping projects.  Lastly, she had a huge passion for golf, as she played competitively into her 80’s in the Duffers and Women’s Elks Club leagues.

Her compassion and caring for everyone she met was her biggest attribute. Her family was most important and her sacrifices in life reflected this love. She seldom missed a sporting event or dance recital. She was a rock for the family showing how hard work and treating people kindly was the key to success. She was most proud of putting all four children through college and seeing another generation of her family with roots in the Joliet area. She was literally the best mom and grandma ever.

Survived by her children Kurt (Sharon) Kitchell of Frankfort, IL., Glenn (Lora) Kitchell of Plainfield, IL., Kay (John) Novak of Shorewood, IL., and Dale (Kristine) Kitchell of Morris, IL.  Grandchildren include Clare (Andrew) Frankenreider, Emily Kitchell, Katherine Kitchell, Ashley Chandler, Kristin Kitchell, Kimberly (Jared) Fattore, Kevin Kitchell, Sara Novak, John Novak, Caitlin Kitchell, Hannah Kitchell, and Mason Kitchell. Great grandchildren Liam Lovett and Grayson Frankenreider. Also surviving are sister-in-law Janet Woodruff and brother-in-law John Manner.  Many nieces and nephews also survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Clara Woodruff. Her compassionate and loving husband Robert Manner. Her first husband Roy Kitchell. Her caring brother Robert “Woody” Woodruff.  Sister-in-laws Susanne Manner and Sue Manner Turk.

The family would like to thank the super staff at Lightways Hospice, the women’s senior golf members, and the caring neighbors of Marquette Gardens that all watched over her so diligently.

Funeral from Blackburn-Giegerich-Sontag Funeral Home, Friday, December 1st, 2023 at 10:30 A.M. to St Paul the Apostle Church for a mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 A.M. Visitation Friday morning from 8:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. at the Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Julie’s name to Lightways Hospice.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 1, 2023

8:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Blackburn, Giegerich, Sonntag Funeral Home

1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, December 1, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central time)

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church

18 Woodlawn Ave, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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