John L. Gruszeczka

Kewanee – John J. “Ski” Gruszeczka, 92, of Kewanee, Illinois, died Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at Unity Point Proctor Hospital, Peoria. John was born November 9, 1925 in Kewanee, the son of Stanley and Helen (Rakoczy) Gruszeczka. He attended Kewanee High School. John married Phyllis Middleton in 1954, they divorced and he later married Shirley (Bates) Ewing in 1979.
She survives along with a son, Mark Gruszeczka of Oregon, Illinois; one step-son, Steven (Verna Holmes) Ewing of LaFayette, Illinois; a grand-child, Robert Gruszeczka; step-grandchildren, Terra (Mike) Penney, Tyler (Tawnie) Ewing, Tanner Ewing; great granddaughter, Mia Grace Penney; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; six brothers, Frank, Chester, Paul, Joseph, Stanley, Eddie; and two sisters, Valerie Sunlitis and Veronica Lepianka.
John enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943, serving two years in the Pacific on the SS Don Marquis and USS LST #708 and was discharged in 1946. He was always proud that six of the Gruszeczka boys served in the military, five in WWII. He was a lifetime member of the VFW. Before retiring he was employed at the Kewanee Machinery & Conveyor for 34 years.
John was a long-time area golfer and was inducted into the Baker Park Golf Hall of Fame. He was one of seven in a field of 125 players to qualify for the National Public Links in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in 1957. He was an avid fan of the Big Ten Conference, Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears.
Funeral Services were at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 16, 2018 at the Schueneman-Tumbleson Funeral Home. Father Tony Labedis and Pastor Jon Vincent officiated. Burial was in Pleasant View Cemetery. Military rites were accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council. Visitation was from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Monday, July 16, 2018 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Kewanee Veterans Council.
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