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Jerry JanecAmerican FlagJANEC

Jerry (Jaroslav) Janec, a loving, kind and dedicated family man and friend to all, passed away peacefully on March 3rd, at the age of 87, after months of enduring his failing health.  

Jerry was Mary Ann’s (nee Seplak) beloved and dear husband of 58 wonderful years. He was the love of her life and they were each other’s soulmate.  They met in 1958 at a Slovak dance hall and were married 2 years later.  Their life together was full of faith in God, hope and love. They were blessed with many wonderful friends, neighbors and family near and far.  Jerry and Mary Ann’s life together has been blessed with raising a family, weddings, the joy of grandchildren and now the blessing of being promoted to great grandparents. They spent happy times traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe. Jerry was endearingly taken care of by Mary Ann, his loving and devoted wife, partner and full-time caregiver for the last several years.

Loving and devoted father of Lisa (Jim) Hackett and Stefanie (Craig) Jahnke, who were inspired by his loving heart, faith, outgoing personality, strength, happiness, strong work ethic and kindness to all. Jerry gained 2 awesome sons in laws, Jim and Craig, providing Jerry with guys to hang out with, drink beer and talk sports with.

Proud and wonderfully devoted grandfather, “Tato” of Brian (Meghan) and Trevor Hackett, Samantha and Allison Jahnke, who were his “Best Buddies”, meant the world to him and whom he loved more than life itself. Stary Tato was excited to be a great-grandfather of Baby Hackett, who will now be blessed with a guardian angel watching over him. 

Dear brother of Emily (late Matthew) Surak, who he loved and cherished so much.  Devoted uncle of Milada, Matthew and Olga and their families who knew him as a fun-loving, adventurous uncle. A dear uncle, cousin and friend of many in the U.S., Slovakia and the Czech Republic, who were always in his heart and mind even though they live far away. Loving and proud Godfather to Mark, DeAnn, Renee and (late) Brad. Dear friend and neighbor to so many, especially the Miranda family.

Proud to be a U.S. Citizen and U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War.  He was born in Brezova, Czechoslovakia and grew up in the small village of Kotesova. He moved to the U.S. in 1950 and was drafted into the U.S. Army to proudly serve in the Korean War for 2 years. As a young man his passion was playing semi-pro soccer on the Slovak team in Chicago. Jerry studied at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to advance his career as a Tool and Die Maker. His career at Beckman Industries and Duo-Fast Corporation spanned 35+ years. Jerry was a member of the Park Ridge VFW Post 3579. He lived a happy life with Mary Ann on the Northwest side of Chicago where he raised two daughters and built lifelong friendships with wonderful neighbors and the community.  He was also a member of Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church for 58 years and volunteered at church and school events throughout the years.

When he became a grandfather to Brian and Trevor, his heart grew exponentially, and he became the happiest man on the planet! He was their #1 fan and “best buddy”, never missed any sporting events, games, tournaments, championships, graduations, confirmations and other school events. With the births of his two beautiful granddaughters, his heart was bursting with joy and he became the happiest man in the universe!  He was their biggest fan and attended every dance show, recital, musical performance, school, church and sports event. When his grandson Brian married Meghan, his heart grew even bigger, full of love and exploded with joy at the news of his great-grandson to-be.

Jerry will be missed by many and fondly remembered as a wonderful man with a heart of gold. He was an avid Chicago sports fan of the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls, Bears and even the White Sox (on behalf of his grandson, Brian and sons-in-law, Jim and Craig).

We are grateful for and send an extra special thank you to the amazingly compassionate doctors, nurses and staff, who were devoted to providing the best care for Jerry at The Grove Fox Valley.

Visitation Friday, March 8, 2019 from 3 until 9 PM at the M.J. Suerth Funeral Home, 6754 N. Northwest Highway, Chicago.  Lying in State Saturday 9:30 AM at Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church, 5106 N. LaCrosse Avenue (near Elston, Foster and Cicero) Chicago, until time of Funeral Service at 10:30 AM.  In lieu of flowers, Jerry asked for donations to be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105 or  Interment at Bohemian National Cemetery. For further information 773-631-1140 or