Peter Dennis Valek
Born March 1, 1941
Passed away November 1, 2019 at age 78
Pete “Denny” Valek was born in Joliet, Illinois, on March 1, 1941, the son of Peter and Ann (Hertko) Valek. He was raised in Joliet, Illinois, where he attended Saints Cyril and Methodius Grade School and was a member of Joliet Catholic High School’s class of 1959.
He married his sweetheart, Judy Bock, on June 26, 1965. They raised three children in the St. Patrick’s neighborhood before retiring west to Midland Avenue.
Pete had a long and successful career as a chemist and environmental safety and health manager, spanning five decades at the former Stauffer Chemical Plant in Joliet.
Pete was extremely active as a member and parent at Saint Patrick’s Church and School. He volunteered countless hours as coach, parish council member, athletic board member, as well as a variety of other duties, large and small.
More than anything, Pete enjoyed time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He considered his life a gift and cherished every moment.
Pete especially enjoyed family trips, packing up the family for numerous trips to the Wisconsin Dells. As his kids can attest, he was a true connoisseur of maps and enjoyed learning about history and the natural world. Later in life, he and Judy loved to travel and visit our National Parks. In retirement, he took up gardening, putzing around the house, and watching baseball, rooting for his favorite team, the Yankees.
Pete, aka “Buzzard,” was a founding and very proud member of the YAMMA club (Young Athletic Men of Middle America). “Middle America,” in reality, covered a few blocks around the old east side neighborhood; but as the years went by, the club represented lifelong friendships across many miles and many dear memories.
Pete is a current member of the Moran Athletic Club and the East Side Knights of Columbus.
Survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Judy; children Peter (Barb), Matthew (Suzy), Eve (Paul) Garcia; grandchildren Nicole, Emma, Ariana, Nicholas, Olivia, Anna, Elijah, and Ruby; great-grandchildren Blake and Jack; brothers Bernie (Elba), Ray (Jeanette); and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He is preceded in death by his father Peter “Patsy” Valek, mother Ann Valek, brother Paul Valek, mother-in-law Marguerite Bock, brother-in-law John Bock, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.
The family would like to thank Dr. Andrew Wunderlich, the Doctors and Staff of AMITA St Joseph’s Hospital, and the caring staff and doctors of the Joliet Area Community Hospice. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name to Saint Patrick’s Church or Joliet Area Community Hospice would be appreciated.
A celebration of Pete's life will begin on Thursday November 7,2019 with prayers in the funeral home chapel at 9:45 a.m. then driving in procession to St. Patrick's catholic church in Joliet for a funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. According to Pete's wishes cremation rites will be accorded.Visitation will be held on Wednesday November 6,2019 at Tezak Funeral Home 1211 Plainfield Rd. Joliet from 3p.m. to 7p.m.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Pisut Funeral Services 815-722-0998
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