John DiVecchio passed peacefully into eternity to be with our Lord on December 19, 2020.
He was born on August 20, 1929 to Pelino and Marianna (Puracchio) DiVecchio in Joliet, Illinois. Times were difficult for them in the United States, so the family returned to their home in Sant'Eufemia a Maiella, Italy when John was three years old. When John reached the age of eighteen, he returned alone to the United States and settled back in Joliet where he reconnected with a dear family friend, Grace Persico. In the absence of John’s parents, Grace provided essential support and was like a second mother. Being a proud American, he served in the United States Army, 2998th Engineer Co. (FLT BRG) in the Korean War. John was very proud of his military service and was awarded the Korean Service Ribbon, United Nations Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal. It was in Joliet that he met and married his wife Liberata and they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in May. Liberata passed away in July of 2020 and John was heartbroken without her and the life they shared together.
He leaves behind his two devoted sons and their wives, Eugene (Charlene Parks) and John (Andrea Fazio), grandchildren Michael DiVecchio, Sara DiVecchio, Danielle (Jason) Adolph and Natalie (Adam) Parrish and five great grandchildren who gave him immense joy, Landon and Eliana Adolph and Andrew, Gianna and Briella Parrish. He is also survived by his brothers-in-law Antonio/Tony (Angelina deceased), Vincenzo/Vince (Elizabeth) and Sabatino/Sam (Carol) and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded by his parents, brother and sister-in-law Salvatore/Sam and Caroline DiVecchio, two brothers in infancy, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Francesco and Maria Carusi.
To put it lightly, John had a green thumb. He could grow anything! He would putter around in his yard and garden for hours, pruning, transplanting and weeding. He grew beautiful grapes, fig, apple and peach trees and he had a huge vegetable garden. He especially took pride in his delicious tomatoes and banana peppers. His yard was always filled with a variety of colorful flowers, most of which he started from seeds. John just loved to be outside. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing.
John could also make a fine barrel of wine. A deep red, Italian table wine that paired well with just about anything especially pasta! He made his wine by the lunar cycle and it turned out great every time. He happily passed down all of his winemaking “secrets” to his sons and grandsons.
He retired from U.S. Steel after 32 years of service. In his retirement, he worked at the Joliet Park District Bird Haven Greenhouse and Woodlawn Cemetery.
A devout Catholic, he was a member of the Church of St. Anthony and had a deep devotion to St. Joseph. He was also an active member of the American Italian Cultural Society and he could be found volunteering at their monthly spaghetti dinners and the Festa Italiana. He loved going to the “club” to visit, trade stories about the old country, play cards and bocce ball with his friends. John was also a proud member of the American Legion Harwood Post #5.
Above all else, John was a family man. He was happiest when surrounded by his family. He took great pride in his children and grandchildren and his love for his family, his country and his faith will live on through his legacy.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of the Veterans Administration, Friends over Fifty Senior Care and Joliet Area Community Hospice for their professional, medical and compassionate care.
Visitation will be held at Tezak Home to Celebrate Life on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic only 10 people will be allowed in at a time and masks must be worn. Private funeral services will be held at the Church of St. Anthony on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 11:00am. It will be livestreamed via the Church of St. Anthony Facebook page.
Memorials in John’s name can be made to Joliet Area Community Hospice, American Italian Cultural Society Scholarship Fund or Disabled American Veterans (New Lenox, IL).