Jölane was born November 26, 1906, in Korompa on the Austria-Hungary border, near the city of Vienna, where Julius Meinl coffee originated. She arrived in America on September 7, 1913, at the age of six, with nothing more than the shirt on her back. Jölane was almost turned away at Ellis Island due to a problem with her eyes.
Nothing came easy in life for Jölane. Her family settled on the Near West Side of Chicago starting out in typical immigrant fashion of the time by selling vegetables from a wagon. She was an independent young woman who graduated from Tuley High School and obtained an Associate’s degree in Accounting from Crane Junior College. Because she saved her money, she did not hesitate to do anything that made her happy. She was one of few women to drive a car in the mid-1920s and went to Cuba by herself when she was 26.
Jölane married her husband and business partner, Dave, in 1934. They opened an electronics store in 1936 in Logan Square with her $800. Times were tough, but they worked side-by-side, for long hours, while at the same time starting a family. Jölane relished the role of mother, ensuring her three children were always well taken care of. She went home every day to fix lunch and had a hot meal on the table every night.
Their business grew into one of the most successful family businesses in the United States. Jölane remained active in the business well into her 70s. Her carefree spirit and sense of adventure never faltered. She cruised to Alaska at the age of 84 and flew alone to Japan when she was 90. Jölane lived almost 97 years.
Jölane’s main focus in life above everything else was simply to be a good person.