John Egan, longtime resident of Lombard, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Friday, Dec. 4. He was 91.
John was born on March 16, 1924 in Joliet, Illinois. He grew up in that community and after graduating from Joliet Township High School in 1941 and Joliet Junior College in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp. to serve in World War II. Commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant while serving overseas in Sansavero, Italy, he flew P-38s as a photo reconnaissance pilot.
After the war, John attended the University of Colorado in Boulder from 1945-1947 graduating as Outstanding Senior of the Business School and Outstanding Senior Man for which he was honored as Cane Bearer.
It was there that he met and courted his life-long love, Virginia (Sunny) Nelson. They were married in Denver on July 5, 1947 and their union lasted 64 years. John and Sunny moved to Lombard in 1948 where they worked, served their community and church, and raised five children.
John was employed at American National Bank from 1947-1957. Following that he joined Container Corporation of America in 1957 and held various positions. In 1965 he was made Asst. Treasurer for the company until 1986 when the company was sold. Never one to retire, John also worked for the Gateway Foundation, McDermott and Assoc., Executive Service Corp. and Marillac House.
Outside of his work, John was active in the Lombard community. Dedicated to the idea that “service to humanity is the best work of life” he joined the Jaycees in 1950. Holding many positions and receiving numerous awards, John was honored when he received their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
As a young person John’s love of sports and the outdoors led him to become involved with the Lombard Park District in 1950 when he was appointed to the Recreation Commission. In 1953 he was appointed to fill an unexpired term and became the youngest member to serve on a local park board and the youngest park commissioner in Illinois. From that time on, the name John Egan became synonymous with all the progress and accomplishments made by the Lombard Park District. He served on various committees, was instrumental in purchasing new park properties, and served as president of the board from 1976-1991. John was most proud of the board’s decisions to expand the number of parks by acquiring open land, the inclusion of programs and facilities for the handicapped, and promoting more athletics for women.
John also help organize NEDSRA, served in several positions in the Lombard Historical Society, helped co-chair the DuPage Theater Committee, worked on various village commissions, and organized many sports leagues and associations. Golf was John’s passion and he enjoyed weekly games and tournaments that he chaired. He was also a long-time member of Sacred Heart Church and served in many volunteer positions. He attended mass every day throughout most of his adult life.
Always a team player, John’s leadership skills reflected collaboration, maintaining a positive attitude, and demonstrating the utmost respect for those with whom he worked.
As committed as he was to community service, John was even more dedicated to his family. He taught his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the importance of education, hard work, and service to others. Always supportive of their accomplishments he loved attending their concerts, sporting events, and other productions. John left them with many memories of a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his children John, Michael (Sandra), Patrick (Karen), Nancy (Ronn) Ammons, Kath (Steve) Hoelter, 15 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. John was preceded in death by his loving wife, Sunny; infant sister, Kathleen; infant son, Joseph; and grandson, Justin.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Lombard Historical Society, 23 West Maple, Lombard, IL 60148 or the Lombard Park District, 227 W. Parkside Ave, Lombard, IL 60148.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, December 8 from 3-9 PM at Brust Funeral Home. Funeral prayers will be held on December 9 at 9:15 AM from Brust Funeral Home to Sacred Heart Church for 10 AM Mass. Interment will be at 12 Noon at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Joliet, IL.
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