Age 97 of Joliet, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 24, 2021 at Lightways Hospice in Joliet.
Born May 23, 1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stephen was the son of Joachim and Irene (Marusak) Michalak. At a young age he moved to Joliet with his family and was raised and educated on the east side of Joliet. Stephen, also known as “Mugsy”, worked for various entities in his earlier years that included EJ & E Railroad, the Brickyard, Argonne Labs, Nick & John Excavating, and primarily as a sheet metal worker and sign fabricator for Grate Sign Company until retirement. Many notable signs throughout Joliet were made by Steve. The Rialto, Al’s Steakhouse, Joliet Paint and the First Assembly of God Church signs were all made by Steve. Being a sheet metal worker, he was also a proud member of Local Union #265.
Steve was also a proud and patriotic American citizen. Due to a hearing issue he was not able to serve in the military during World War II so he took a job as a supervisor at the Navy yards in Rockdale. He was assigned seven German POWs and a translator to oversee that the work that was required was getting done in a timely and orderly fashion. It was also at the Navy yards that Steve met his wife, Delores Mae. Together they would make a home and raise their family in Lockport.
Steve was an active member in various social clubs including the Joliet Rivals Club, the Joliet Seniors Club, the Northwest Recreation Club, the Moran AC, and attended the Lockport Park District Young Timers Club events. He was an enthusiastic member of the clubs bowling teams and sometimes served as team captain. Later in Steve’s life he discovered and developed a passion for the game of golf, and played at area courses with his senior golf partners. Always remaining active, Steve made sure to meet up with former co-workers, golf partners and bowling buddies for breakfast every Tuesday throughout the years. Steve will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Stephen is survived by his three sons: Ronald (Bonnie) Michalak, Denny (Carol) Michalak and David (Kathy) Michalak; nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 72 years: Delores Mae Michalak; half-brothers: Joe Magercak and John Magercak, and three sisters: Hermina "Herkie" Wason, Anna Minor and Mary Grzetich.
Family will receive relatives and friends for a visitation on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Road in Joliet.
Per Stephen’s wishes, cremation rites will be accorded following visitation.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary Nativity Catholic Church, 706 N Broadway Street in Joliet. Interment will follow and Stephen will be laid to rest next to his wife at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery in Romeoville.