Cover photo for Peter "Benny" Papesh's Obituary
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1926 Peter 2021

Peter "Benny" Papesh

August 26, 1926 — July 22, 2021

Peter B. Papesh “Benny,” age 94 of Joliet, passed away peacefully on July 22, 2021 at Villa Franciscan Place.

Born August 26, 1926 in Joliet. Peter was the son of John and Anna (Gregorcic) Papesh Sr. He attended St. Joseph Grade School and Joliet Catholic High School.

Peter is survived by his bride of 69 years, Theresa (Anzelc) Papesh; sister, Mary Jane (Ronald) Vergo; sister-in-law, Catherine (late Jack) (Anzelc) Emery; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents; brother and sisters, John Papesh Jr., Joseph (Mayme) Papesh, Albert Papesh, Stephen (Mary Jo) Papesh, Margaret Papesh, Michael (Betty) Papesh, George (Verna) Papesh, Ralph (Margaret) Papesh, Bernice Sister Mary Flora Papesh, and Olga (Glenn) Brown; along with numerous brother and sisters-in-law and several nieces and nephews.

Peter was sexton for St. Joseph Cemetery and Park Manager for many years before retiring in 1989 and served as Liquor Commissioner for the State of Illinois. He was affiliated with Snake Pit Tavern and Joe Wolf Tavern for many years. Benny is best noted for his “Unique” Accordion Playing. He and his wife, Theresa, entertained at many events locally and around the country.

He was a member of St Joseph Church Joliet, Holy Name Society, Cantigny Post VFW 367, American Legion Post 1080, Elks Lodge, Joliet Rivals Cub, and Northwest Recreation Club.

Peter was a proud veteran of WWII. He was the seventh of the brothers to serve overseas at the same time during WWII. Peter was a Tec 4 (often addressed as Sgt.) in the HQ Company, 1st battalion of the 186th Infantry in the US Army. He served on an aircraft rescue boat in the Philippines. As a coxswain on the boat, he commanded a crew of 5 men in docking, anchoring, and piloting the boat. Peter was awarded the Army Occupation Medal in Japan, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, and Victory Medal. He was the highest ranking of the seven Papesh brothers who served.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made as gifts in Peter’s memory to Lightways Hospice (formerly known as Joliet Area Community Hospice) or to St. Joseph Catholic Church Joliet.

A celebration of Peter’s life will begin on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 with prayers in the funeral home chapel at 9:20 a.m. then driving in procession to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Joliet for a Mass of Christian Burial to be held at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Road, Joliet from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. St. Joseph Holy Name prayer service will be held at 6:00 p.m.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Peter "Benny" Papesh, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Tezak's Home to Celebrate Life

1211 Plainfield Road, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Chapel Prayers

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Starts at 9:20 am (Central time)

Tezak's Home to Celebrate Life

1211 Plainfield Road, Joliet, IL 60435

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Starts at 11:15 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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