Joel Leland Dames

August 21, 1928May 22, 2018

Joel Leland Dames, 89, was born on August 21, 1928 in Joliet, IL. He died on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at his home. He lived in Joliet until he retired in 1988, at which time he moved to Fort Myers, FL. In 2008, he and his wife, Arlene, settled in Highlands Ranch, CO. He resided in Castle Rock for the past year.

Joel, along with his father Fred, and brother, Mark, operated Fred C. Dames Funeral Home in Joliet IL. He was a caring and talented mortician and funeral director. The family business has been operating for well over 100 years.

Joel met Arlene while attending Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. They were married on October 25, 1947. He finished his education at Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago in 1949.

All seven of their children were born in Joliet over the course of many years.

Joel particularly enjoyed travelling, and went all over the world. He recently said his favorite experience while travelling was seeing the Terracotta army in China. He was partial to Asian, South Pacific, and European travels. He was a devout Catholic, and attended church services wherever his travels took them. Joel cared deeply for his family and friends and liked meeting new people. He especially held little children close to his heart. He loved nice cars, fine food, beautiful clothing and jewelry, and always expected his family to look their best, no matter the occasion. He was a terrific dancer, and enjoyed entertaining. Joel was also an excellent decorator, creating lovely living spaces for his family. In his later years, Joel participated in quieter activities, including cards and dominoes.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 62.5 years, Arlene, in 2010. Also, his parents Fred and Louise Dames; his sisters Joan Dames and Marilyn Offerman; two brothers-in law, Richard Brady and Jerome Orzech; and one nephew, Mark Offerman. He is survived by his four daughters - Julie (Charles) Schueler of Evergreen, CO; Cynthia Dames of Pine Hill NJ; Dawn (Dwayne) Thomason of Castle Rock CO; and Joan Dames of St. Petersburg FL; and by three sons - Dana Dames of Fort Myers FL; Jon (Louise) Dames of Plainfield IL; and Shale (Shelby) Dames of Bountiful UT.

Joel’s grandchildren are siblings Tamara (Troy) Hobick, Keith (Amy) McLemore, and Kevin McLemore; Michael and Dena Cavallero; Lisa (Ryan) Busby and Joseph Dames; Fritz (Julie) Achhorner and Ingrid Achhorner; and Alexandra and Michael Dames.

Greatgrandchildren of Joel include: Drew and Will Hobick; Cole and Molly McLemore; Riley Luma and Sophie Cavallero; Wes, Sam and Emma Busby; and Kristian, Oliver, Clarke and Iris Achhorner.

His siblings Paula Brady, Gervaise Orzech, and Mark (Sharon) Dames survive Joel. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

Services will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Castle Rock CO, on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Visitation will be held at the church starting at 9:00 a.m. A rosary will take place at 10:30, with the funeral mass commencing at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Castle Rock CO.



  • Visitation Tuesday, May 29, 2018
  • Rosary Tuesday, May 29, 2018
  • Mass For Christian Burial Tuesday, May 29, 2018
  • Committal Service Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Joel Leland Dames

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