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John Batzel

CTA busTrain








John Batzel, an uncommon common man, age 80, was born in Gary, Indiana, the first born of William and Corrine Batzel. He was followed by siblings, Virginia (Kenneth) Scally, Keith (Sandra), Marlene and the late Bruce.  Attended Hobart High School where he participated in sports, especially enjoying football, was president of the Thespian and Future Teachers of America Clubs . Also to earn a little walking money, he worked as a sports reporter for the local newspaper, The Hobart Gazette.

At the age of 19, John packed his duffle bag and headed to his dream city, Chicago, working for R.R Donnelly as a proofreader, and then spending 42 years with the Chicago Transit Authority rising to the level of Dispatcher. Because of his extensive knowledge of Chicago’s streets and bus routes, family, friends, and co-workers referred to John as a human GPS system.

Interests included family gatherings, travel, trains and buses, sport events, and enjoying opera and a good meal with his wife, Judith.  An integral part of John’s life was his membership in the Knights of Columbus. He was an active member and past Faithful Navigator of Christopher Columbus Assembly # 2349.  He was a man of integrity and intelligence, a hard worker, missing only six days of work in 42 years of tenure at the CTA

John passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 5, 2020 under the skilled and compassionate care of Rainbow Hospice Ark, Chicago, surrounded by loving family and friends. He sorely will be missed by his wife, Judith Batzel and daughters, Tammy (Eric) Schlarf, Sherry Perkowitz and Debbie (Linda Norton) Jones; grandchildren Sarah Jones, Katherine and Jenna Schlarf and John, Rachel (Nicholas) Perkowitz Ketchum, Here (aka Emily) and Abigail Perkowitz and many nieces, nephews and cherished friends.

John’s kind and gentle demeanor will be greatly missed by his Vavrik family.

A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, February 8, 2020 at St. Paul of the Cross Church,  140 S. Northwest Hwy (at Washington) Park Ridge at    10:00 AM .
Following Mass a Life Celebration Luncheon will be held at Edelweiss Restaurant, 7650 Irving Park Road, Norridge, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers memorials to MPN Research Foundation, 180 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1870. Chicago, IL 60601 or Rainbow Hospice, 1550 Bishop Court, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056 or your favorite charity are appreciated.  Arrangements entrusted to the M J Suerth Funeral Home.  773-631-1240  or