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Local News

Downers Grove Historical Society honors 2018 Historian of the Year

Joyce Tumea
Joyce Tumea

DOWNERS GROVE – Joyce Tumea has been named the Downers Grove Historical Society’s 2018 Historian of the Year.

Over the past three decades, Tumea has kept history alive through her songs, poems, skits, stories, newspaper columns and features celebrating Downers Grove and DuPage County’s people, places, and events, according to a news release.

Her village-sponsored cable TV show “Today’s Tidings” featured interviews with or about notable residents recognized for their achievements and contributions such as opera star and Downers Grove native Sherrill Milnes, former Downers Grove Mayor Betty Cheever, Choral Society founder Thelma Roe Milnes, comedian Emo Phillips, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Fred Lester Jr., Sears Home expert Bob Jensen and underground railroad expert Glennette Tilley Turner, the release stated.

She’s also interviewed local historians Carol Wandschneider, Lois Sterba and Montrew Dunham as well as numerous community leaders.

Tumea’s newspaper column, “Dateline Downers,” focused on interesting people, events and organizations in town as well as daily Downers Grove life.

She is an active Downers Grove Historical Society volunteer and has worked with the Downers Grove Museum mainly as a docent. She has portrayed Lucy Downer, Arvilla Wells and Avis Blodgett at various events. She also has produced programming for these organizations such as “A Downers Grove Holiday Historical” about early Christmas traditions in Downers Grove and “Guests in the Graveyard” about some of early settlers buried in the Main Street Cemetery.

A Downers Grove resident for 38 years, Tumea grew up in Brookfield. She and her husband, Tony, have three children.

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