MENDOTA - Delbert T. Spitz, 93, of Mendota passed away Oct. 11, 2018 following a long illness.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 15 at Holy Cross Church with Rev. Peter Pilon officiating. Full military rites will be conducted by Mendota VFW Post 4079. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Schwarz Funeral Home with a 2 p.m. rosary.
Delbert was born April 28, 1925 in Troy Grove to Martin and Elizabeth (Kratz) Spitz. He married Phyllis A. Easter on Jan. 24, 1948 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria. She preceded him in death.
Survivors include one son, Jerry (Nancy) Spitz of LaMoille; two daughters, Diana (James) Dempster of Mequon, Wis. and Cindie (Charles) Espeland of Marseilles; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; four sisters, Catherine Taylor, Florence (Charles) Kuebel, Carlene (Roland) Schuhler and Rita (David) Jones; a brother-in-law, Richard Brandt; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife; six children in infancy; one great-granddaughter; three brothers, Aloysius Spitz, Leo Spitz and Martin Spitz; and two sisters, Estelle Fonner and Delores Brandt.
Delbert attended Holy Cross School and received his diploma from Mendota High School in 2002. He served in the European Theater during World War II including landing at Utah Beach on D-Day. He worked 47 years at the Wayside Press in Mendota, retiring as bindery supervisor in 1989. He then worked at Del Monte Corporation in Mendota until his second retirement at age 87. He was a member of Holy Cross Church, Mendota VFW Post 4079, American Legion Post 540, Catholic War Veterans St. Hyacinth Post 1229, The Knights of Columbus, Mendota Optimist Club, Mendota Garden Club, and other local organizations. In 2012, he was chosen to serve as grand marshal of the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival Parade. In 2014, he received the Knight of the Legion of Honor medal from the government of France for his service during the war. Delbert’s identity was inseparable from his service in World War II. He joined the U.S. Army in 1943, as soon as he turned 18. He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day in 1944 and saw terrible action as he moved through France and served in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He carried both the pride and the burden of being a veteran for the rest of his life. Those experiences shaped his character, and he never forgot about those who did not come back. Being one of those who came home gave him a special sense of purpose and duty. He served his community unselfishly through many organizations. Especially important to him were Holy Cross Church and veterans’ organizations including the VFW and Catholic War Veterans. He was not just a social member but actively lived out his care for other veterans and their families. Above all, Delbert was a man for his family. He spoke often about his mother and father and was dedicated to all of his brothers and sisters. His care and devotion to Phyllis was extraordinary - she always came first. For his children, he was the rock of the family, always warm and loving. He was a man of thrift and simple needs, a model of financial responsibility, and yet he always provided generously.
Memorials may be directed to Holy Cross Church or Holy Cross School. Online condolences may be left at schwarzfuneral.com.