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Obituary: Hon. John Verklan

John Verklan. Credit: Tezak Funeral Home
John Verklan. Credit: Tezak Funeral Home

Crest Hill resident the Honorable Judge John Verklan Age 87, U.S. Navy Veteran, passed away quietly February 11, 2014, in the presence of his family.

He was born September 5, 1926 to the late John and Matilda Verklan. Raised in Lockport, he served in the Navy where he saw service in World War II. Preceded in death by his sisters, Mary, Ann, Rose, Marjorie, and Katie; by brothers Michael, Tony, and Louie.

After earning an undergraduate degree from Bradley University in Peoria, IL he attended Creighton University in Omaha, NE, where he earned his Juris Doctor Degree. John then returned home and began practicing law, including time spent as the City Attorney and School Board Attorney for Lockport, IL. Always in demand for his thorough and hard-working approach to law, he was asked to intercede in a case where he met his future bride. He and Genell (nee Roark) were married on February 10, 1962. He was appointed to the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Will County in 1967. He was well known for his tough but eminently fair service to the Court, and retired from the bench in 1986.

He shared many interests, and was a long time member of the Croatian Cultural Club of Joliet. He and his wife traveled extensively, enjoying several trips to Croatia, the birthplace of his parents and older siblings.

John is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Genell; his beloved children, Lavern (the late Joe) Hertz, John Jr., Lisa (Matt) Johnson, Mary (Edward) Friese, and Gerald (Sherry); 12 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; sister, Alice; and numerous nephews and nieces.

The family would like to offer a special thank you to the Joliet Area Community Hospice for the wonderful care and comfort they provided to John.

In lieu of flowers, Masses to be said in John’s name at St. Mary Immaculate Church in Plainfield would be appreciated.

A celebration of John’s life will begin on Friday, February 14, 2014 with prayers in the funeral home chapel beginning at 10:00 a.m. then driving in procession to St. Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in Plainfield for a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow at St. Mary Cemetery in Plainfield. Visitation will be on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Road, Joliet, IL from 4-8 p.m. Obituary and Tribute Wall for Honorable Judge John Verklan at www.tezakfuneralhome.com or for information, 815-722-0524. 

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