Joe Adler graduated from Joliet Catholic High School in 1948 and the University of Notre Dame. Jodie Biddle graduated from St. Francis Academy in 1949 and St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame.
The relationship between JCHS, SFA and now Joliet Catholic Academy brought Joe and Jodie together. They have been married for 59 years, raised six children and doted on their 22 grandchildren.
And they are a family of Hilltoppers and Angels.
“Our outlook about the school is we felt it was a vital part of a parent’s responsibility to find the best education possible for their children,” Joe Adler said. “Our idea of education went beyond the courses.
“You can get the educational courses anywhere. We were looking outside of the class work, to those less fortunate in the Joliet area — the community service that we felt would set a school apart.”
Continual involvement in the success of Joliet Catholic Academy is a standard set by Joe and Jodie Adler. JCA will honor the couple as the prestigious Recognition Award recipients at the 27th annual Jubilaté.
Joe and Jodie Adler sent six children — Daniel (’72), Teddy (’73), Jackie (’75), Chris (’76), Michael (’78) and Jay (’82) — through St. Patrick’s Grade School, JCHS and SFA. Many of their grandchildren and extended family have attended JCA. They also have supported JCA through gifts to the Jack Adler Scholarship.
Together, they have lived a wonderful life, including over 50 years of involvement with the Christian Family Movement, being founding members of both the Will County Conference of Religion and Race and the Spanish Community Center and being active in the civil rights movement since the 1960s.
As members of the original group that started the Will County Habitat for Humanity, their work with Habitat continues to this day along with many members of their family and friends. They also initiated the “Tip the Maids” program that encourages guests to leave tips for maids at hotels and motels.
At the heart of the matter for Joe and Jodie Adler is community. Joseph is the past president of the George Werden Boys and Girls Club of Joliet and the past president of Adler Roofing and Sheet Metal. Jodie started a banquet business, Fountainview, and is active with the Visitation and Aid Society.
Joe and Jodie’s son Mike is the current president of the George Werden Boys and Girls Club of Joliet. Their son Jay is a board member for the Will County Habitat for Humanity. It’s about family and service.
“Wherever mom and dad are or have been, they live and preach justice and peace,” said Dan Adler, their eldest son. “Their love of family and support they have given their children are the best examples. They have given their children fine educations, and even finer, give us examples of good living.”
“It is clear to me there is no way to predict what joys or struggles we will witness in our lives,” said Jenna Finney-Murphy, their granddaughter. “When I look at their lives, I see it has been, and will continue to be, full of both. They are great examples of saying ‘Yes’ to life and all that it brings with great faith.”
Part of that faith is being charter members of Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish Retired Service Team. They also helped to teach English to migrant workers, hosted Spanish groups and worked with the poor.
“We never felt like we were giving a lot, but the more we gave, the more we gained in return,” Joe Adler said. “That has been a theme of our lives together, all the way from the Hill and the Academy to JCA.”
During his senior year at JCHS, Joe Adler was a leader in the formation of the school’s first Yearbook. It was the start of giving for Joe and Jodie Adler that remains this very day, in the community and at JCA.
JCA’s Jubilaté theme this year is March Madness. The event will be held Saturday, March 10, at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, with live and silent auctions. Cash and tuition raffle tickets are on sale now.
All proceeds of the annual fundraising event go to benefit the students of JCA. For more information, contact Christine Voss, JCA’s Special Events Manager, at 815-741-0500 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Joe and Jodie Adler have forged a strong foundation for their family built upon their Catholic faith and their selfless examples of, ‘Do what you can to make the world a better place,’” Voss said. “On behalf of all of us at JCA, especially our students and families, we are grateful for the Adlers’ generous hearts.”