LA SALLE - John “Jack” Hamel, 92, a lifetime resident of LaSalle County, died peacefully at IVCH surrounded by his loving family on Jan. 10, 2018.
Jack’s wish was to be cremated and not have funeral services. The family will host a Celebration of Life at a later date. The Hurst Funeral Home in LaSalle is assisting the family.
Jack was born June 27, 1925 in LaSalle to Jan and Harriet Mae Hamel. He married Rosemary Thompson.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Rosemary; four children, Donald Hamel of Hallettsville, Texas, Douglas (Lori) Hamel of DeKalb, Diane (Bill) Hoscheit of Four Seasons, Mo. and Dennis Hamel of Creston; one brother, Roger Hamel of Princeton; 14 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Maxine Hamel.
Jack grew up in Troy Grove. In 1943, at the age of 18, he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he specialized in artillery (communications). He was honorably discharged in 1946. After the service, he worked for Chicago Northwestern Railroad for 15 years. In 1959, he began working at Manley Brothers Silica Sand pit in Troy Grove. After 30 years at Manley Brothers, he retired in 1989. He served as a Red Coat at IVCH in Peru for 17 years and accrued 3,600 volunteer hours. He was a lifelong, die hard Chicago Cubs fan and was featured on the Wrigley Field big screen for his 90th birthday, which made him very proud. He loved to follow his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in all of their sporting events. He was a talented woodworker and polka dancer. He never met a stranger and always had a joke to share with them. It was in his nature to greet everyone with a hug.
Condolences and memorial contributions may be directed to the family at 2307A Prospect St., Peru, IL 61354 or may be made in Jack’s honor to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Online condolences may be viewed and remembrances shared at www.hurstfuneralhomes.com.