Jolanta Soares

Jolanta "Jola" Soares, 59, of Clarendon Hills, formerly of Hinsdale, died peacefully April 27, 2024, at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Hinsdale due to cancer.

She was born in 1964 in Warsaw, Poland, to Helena and Stanley Ptak.

Jolanta was a tough, bright, funny and highly independent woman. She was a force of nature, and nothing came in her way once she made up her mind.

Jola came to Chicago from Warsaw not speaking a word of English in 1987. She quickly learned English and graduated at the top of her class at the University of Illinois in computer science. That led to a long career in technology in the financial services industry, including stints at CNA Insurance, JP Morgan Chase and most recently at PNC Bank. She was also an award-winning painter and artist with multiple exhibitions of her work at galleries around the USA and in Europe.

Jola also was an expert beekeeper, gardener and someone who loved her art-filled home in Clarendon Hills. She lived in Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale for more than 12 years and was an involved member of the moms of Hinsdale Central, from which her son graduated in 2023.

Jola is survived by her husband, Donald Soares; her son, Conrad; her parents, Helena and Stanley Ptak; and her brothers, Adam (Grazyna) and Slawek (Renata) Ptak.

A private celebration of life was held May 11 in Clarendon Hills.

Sullivan Funeral Home in Hinsdale handled the arrangements.