John J. Hamerla
Age 90. Passed away peacefully on Christmas morning, 12/25/2022, at Lightways Hospice in Joliet IL.
Born in Joliet and a lifelong resident. John retired from Prairie State Paper Mill/IVEX after over 46 years of service.
John was a patriotic man who served in the US Army during the Korean War, where he was a tank commander in the armored division. He was a devout Catholic and prayerful man, who prayed his rosary daily. He was a member of the VFW. John loved fishing, bowling, card playing and vegetable gardening, and was an avid Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks fan, as well as enjoying boxing from the early days. He had a great sense of humor, and was always joking and laughing.
He was a family man who was fondly referred to as Johnny, Dad, and Papa. He loved spending time with his wife, Rosemarie, who was always at his side, his 5 children, 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. John was preceded in death by his parents, John and Angela Hamerla and his seven siblings, Theodore, Bernice, Helen, Casimer “Kayo”, Josephine, Veronica “Vera” and Elizabeth “Betty”.
John is survived by his wife of 66 years, Rosemarie (nee Jadron), and his five children, Ruth Dillon (Ray), David Hamerla (Cheri), Karen Wojnarowski (Tim), Janet McClarence (Mike) and Daniel Hamerla (Michelle). Each of his 10 grandchildren held a special place in his heart: Nick Hamerla, Steven Hamerla (Brittany), Jenna D’Orazio (Bernie), Jack Dillon (Morgan), Mike Wojnarowski, Claire Wojnarowski, Anna Goggins, Aidan Goggins, Madison Hamerla and Samantha Hamerla. He was adored by his 5 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Whenever his grandchildren visited, which was often, Papa always said, “Thank you for coming to see me. I love you so much. And tell everyone else I love them too.”
Family will receive relatives and friends for a visitation on Friday, December 30, 2022 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Road in Joliet. A celebration of John’s life will continue on Saturday, December 31, 2022 with a brief visitation from 9:00 a.m. until time of closing prayers in the funeral home chapel beginning at 10:15 a.m. The funeral will then drive in procession to St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, 127 S Briggs Street in Joliet, for a Mass of Christian Burial beginning at 11:00 a.m. A private interment will be held at a later date and John will be laid to rest at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery where he will receive full military honors in recognition for his service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made as gifts in John’s memory to either St. Mary Magdalene Church and/or Lightways Hospice in Joliet, IL.