Eugene E. Zaletel
Age 86 of Joliet, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 3, 2021 at Lightways Hospice surrounded by family and close friends.
Born November 7, 1935 in Joliet, Geno was a son of Edward and Rose (nee Ketz) Zaletel. He was raised and educated in Joliet and graduated from St. Joseph’s Slovenian School and continued on to Joliet Township High School. Geno proudly served in the United States Army defending our freedom during the Korean War. He worked for and retired from Avon Gear and Manufacturing as a tool and die maker and machinist.
Geno was an exceptional cook preparing hundreds of outdoor cookouts for family, friends and organizations throughout the area. He was proud to be an honorary member of the Southside Civic Club and lifetime member of the Chaney Progressive Club, along with the Slovenian Home. Words can never express the impact Geno had on the lives of his family and numerous friends. All who knew him will certainly miss him and his kind, caring and benevolent heart.
He is survived by the “apple of his eye” and loving daughter: Carrie A. (Michael) Baron; grandchildren: Heather Baron Lynch (Chris Majak) of Channahon, Christopher M. (Lindsey) Baron of Tampa, Florida, Jessica D. Baron (Dylan Jones) of Joliet, and Joy A. (Steven) Noriyuki of Paul, Idaho, and five great-grandchildren. Also leaving behind his lifetime best friend: Jim Lilek of Joliet; fondest nephew: Butch Ketz of Joliet, as well as nieces and nephews: Ronald Hanko, Joann (Jim) Vallera, Paul (Patty) Hanko, and Jeff (Leticia) Hanko.
Geno is preceded in death by his parents: Edward and Rose; sister: Violet (Paul) Hanko; brothers: Richard (who was killed in action proudly serving his country during the Korean War), Leroy, and Clarence “Zeke” who passed in infancy, and son: Mike Zaletel.
Family will receive relatives and friends on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Road in Joliet. A celebration of Geno’s life will continue on Thursday, December 9, 2021 with a visitation from 9:00 a.m. until time of funeral service in the funeral home chapel beginning at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow and Geno will be laid to rest at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Joliet.
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