Donald A. Ukleja, 86, of Spring Grove, formerly of Bensenville, died Monday, October 21, 2019, at Hillcrest Nursing Home, Round Lake Beach. On January 7, 1933, he was born in Chicago to the late Frank and Mildred (nee Dary) Ukleja.
Don grew up in Chicago, where he coached and managed the neighborhood softball team he founded, The Cadets. He went on to serve and be honorably discharged from the Air Force. Don worked for many years at Sears Roebuck, and cut grass at Lotus School in Fox Lake where at lunchtime he served students ice cream and popcorn. He also helped for many years at Wokini’s Lakeside Inn on Pistakee Lake, where Don worked with his daughter, Laura, and helped with the bar’s many events.
In his retirement, Don enjoyed mowing his lawn, gardening, and feeding the birds. He was obsessed with the Chicago Cubs and was a lifelong fan.
Survivors include his children, Linda Lacy, Laura (Adam) Curnett, Frank (Patty) Ukleja, and Donnie Ukleja; grandchildren, Sarah, Heather, Anthony and Frankie; great-grandchildren, Mia and Desmond; sisters, Carol Witczak and Rose Bartus; former wife, Mary Ukleja; and many nieces and nephews, including Karen, Judy, Tina, and Michael, Eddie, Gregory, and Tammy, Sharon and Chrissy, Eddie, Mona, Bruce, and Lisa; and many friends.
In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his brother, Ed (the late Pat) Ukleja.
Visitation Saturday, October 26, from 1 p.m. until the time of funeral service and Air Force honors at 4 p.m., at Hamsher Lakeside Funerals and Cremations, 12 N. Pistakee Lake Rd., Fox Lake. Private Inurnment in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, Niles.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to A Place for Hope Cat Sanctuary, c/o Hamsher Lakeside, PO Box 36, Fox Lake, IL 60020-0036, appreciated.
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