John J. Lukancic, age 84, departed this life at his home in Crest Hill on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, in the loving, supportive company of his daughter Kathleen Carbone and his own personal “CNA”, his loving grandson, Michael who stayed by his bedside until the Lord took him home. John was also blessed to have the care of Hospice Nurse, Laura, CNA, Nicole and Caregiver, Sophia.
John was born November 20, 1936 at the family home on North Broadway Street in Joliet to Slovenian immigrants Louis and Paula (Matko) Lukancic, the fifth of nine children. He was baptized at St. Joseph Catholic Church and remained a faithful, active member of the parish for all of his life.
His many contributions to parish life will long be remembered, especially the parish museum which he and his siblings established in 2011. For 35 years, he hosted the Reunion Booth at the annual Homecoming Fair at St. Joseph Park. More recently he helped create the commemorative book for the parish’s 125th anniversary in 2016.
The lessons he learned at home and at the church were the foundation for a lifetime of hard work, integrity and service to others. From the age of 13, John held a variety of jobs leading up to a 34 year career in education in the Valley View school district, retiring in 1994. In 2006 the John J. Lukancic Middle School was named in his honor. On the first day of school, John Lukancic, ever the educator, was in attendance.
“I couldn’t miss seeing the kids coming in to school on their first day and meeting the teachers.” The official dedication of the John J. Lukancic Middle School took place on September 7, 2006. His knowledge and skill helped educate thousands of students in the Bolingbrook and Romeoville area.
He was educated at St. Joseph Grade School, Joliet Township High School, Joliet Junior College, Lewis University and Northern Illinois University. He served two years in the U.S. Army as a medic in Korea and in 1959 married Anna Mae Longhini at St. Joseph Church. Together they raised two children and centered their life around their family and church.
John is survived by his daughter, Kathleen Carbone of Crest Hill and his son, Tom (Tami) Lukancic of Seattle; grandchildren, John (Heather) Lukancic, Steven (Jaime) Lukancic and Colleen (Eric) Borchardt, Angelina (Rick) Cho, Gianna Carbone and Michael Carbone; six great grandchildren; siblings, Lillian (late Clarence) Murphy, Dr. Louis (Barbara) Lukancic and Angela (Walter) Zaida. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
Preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Anna Mae, in October 2020; son, John and daughter, Angela in infancy; his parents and parents-in-law; siblings, Helen (late Raymond) Valerugo, Emma (late Robert) Bechler, Dr. Mildred (Dr. Kent) Monroe, Maryann Lukancic, and James (late Patricia Collins) Lukancic; brother-in-law, Richard (Margaret) Longhini; niece, Nancy Bechler; and nephew, James Murphy.
In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made as gifts in John's memory to St. Joseph Catholic Church.
A celebration of John’s life will begin on Friday, January 29, 2021 at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Road, Joliet with a visitation from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. St. Joseph Holy Name Prayers at 6:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 416 N. Chicago Street in Joliet at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow and John will be laid to rest in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Masks and social distancing practices are required. For those not able to attend mass in person, a live stream of mass will be provided. A link to access the live stream is available at the bottom of John's obituary page.