John E. Sabalaskey, 84, of Westville, passed away shortly before noon Friday, October 6, 2017, surrounded by family at Presence USMC, Danville, Ill.
John was born March 12, 1933, in Westville, to John J. and Mary Katauskas Sabalaskey.
He married Regina R. Nieminski on April 28, 1956, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Westville. They celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary in April 2017.
John is survived by his wife, Regina; five children, John P. (Mary Jo) of Lake Forest, Ill., Bob (Chrissy) of Carol Stream, Ill., Jim (Amy) of Carol Stream, Ill., Joe (Heather) of Westville, Ill., and Jodi Sabalaskey Clements of Aurora, Ill.; 17 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Mary (Raymond) Vogel and Margaret (Perry) Garrison, both of Westville. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Gina Sabalaskey Sutton (Mendel) of Miami, Fla., his parents, a niece and two nephews.
He was a graduate of Westville High School and the University of Illinois, where he earned Bachelor of Science and Master's degrees in education. He served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Oklahoma and Venezuela. John played baseball for both the University of Illinois and the Army, as well as the minor league of the Cincinnati Reds professional baseball team.
John worked in the Westville public school system, first as a teacher and coach, and then as a principal and school district business administrator before retiring in 1995. He worked for the Westville school system for nearly 30 years beginning in 1958, leaving only for about seven years to work as a manager at the General Motors Central Foundry in Tilton, Ill.
John loved sports and, as a life-long Chicago Cubs fan, was thrilled to see the Cubs win the World Series in 2016. He was looking forward to cheering his Cubs on during 2017 post-season. He also loved fishing and gardening, spending many hours doing both with his wife, Regina, before a stroke in early 2015 significantly limited his physical activities.
John also enjoyed bowling, serving as Secretary for the Westville American Legion bowling league for many years. He also enjoyed construction work, building additions to his house, as well as two single-family houses for sale, with his wife and children. In recent years, he was particularly devoted to saying the rosary. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and, as an U.S. Army Veteran, the American Legion.
Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Friday, October 13, at Sunset-Urbas Funeral Chapel, 414 S. State St., Westville, with the rosary being prayed starting at 3:30 p.m. prior to visitation. A funeral mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 14, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 231 N. State St., Westville, with Fr. Timothy Sauppé officiating. Internment will immediately follow at Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Westville, with military honors conducted by the Westville American Legion Post 51.
Please join the family in sharing memories through his Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
Published on October 9, 2017