Jerome John James Stanisz
June 14, 1941-September 11, 2017
Jerry, known as “JJ” Stanisz, was a practical, handsome and wittingly charming man, most of the time. He passed away peacefully on September 11, 2017, on his own, at 0017 military time, ensuring us that he was indeed the one “007 agent,” as he had playfully informed us of this reverie long ago.
“JJ” wanted you all to know that he was a “good man.” He was right. He and Mom (Margaret) were happily married 48 years, the second half of which she was a selfless and loving caretaker for him. He appreciated that more than anything. But more importantly, these two were a humdinger of a couple who stood by each other steadfast, devoted to God’s Will in their faithful marriage.
He’s survived by his three kids: Tom Stanisz who acquired his strong work ethic, Christine (Dilillo) who inherited his attention to detail, and Laura (Schreiner) who received his gene for candor. They all share his occasional stubbornness. He adored being Grandpa, or “Bumpa,” to six grandsons (Jeffery, Dominic, Matthew, Ryan, Connor, and Ethan), and one granddaughter (Annabelle) who shares his affinity for daily chocolate fixes.
Jerry had three brothers: Charlie, Wally Jr., (both deceased) and Robert. They often played pinochle and 500 rummy together, watched westerns, and consumed bologna boats, spaghetti with sauce (using American cheese melted into Campbell’s tomato soup), and too much soda. Brotherly shenanigans ensued regularly, pranks included, but otherwise, they helped each other out.
Jerome was a dedicated son to his Chicagoan folks, the late Walter and Frances (nee Gruba) Stanisz. He’d do anything to make it easier for them to get by, and faithfully took his Mother to mass on Sundays. He respected his Fathers’ work ethic, in that quality control was critical no matter the project, at work or at home. A man of integrity himself, he didn’t commit to anything that he knew he couldn’t complete, and expected the same from others.
His accurate and precise mindset suited him well as an electrical engineer in the “windy city” for most of his adult life. As an alum of the University of Illinois, Jerry had a keen eye for structural imperfections in buildings and lighting architecture. If you were lucky to be in his company when he noticed, you’d be privy to his proposed solution, down to the specific wattage or foundational issue.
House projects kept JJ busy on weekends. As kids, we held ladders, tools, and RC Colas in between his occasional naughty words of project blunders, as Dad improved his Elmhurst residence with pride, where he and Mom lived for 35 years. Dad grilled steaks (a.k.a. “shoe leather” because he liked his meat well-done), made bacon for BLTs, and cut the grass religiously. There were always things that had to be done in between watching PBS Nova specials or going out for ice cream.
Simple but traditional, Jerry was a practicing Catholic with unwavering faith. He didn’t like his meat and potatoes to cool off too much, so dinner prayer was quick. Sunday mass was a must, and prayer was an effective and efficient way to communicate with God. If you had a question, you were to consult the Baltimore Catechism Book. Period.
Bumpa had a unique relationship with all of his grandkids. The older boys received unsolicited advice: “Don’t be lazy, get straight A’s, and go to church!” Discussion of hula-girls and dating guidance were commonplace. Otherwise, Bumpa would fill the room with songs (Heigh Ho!) as Lego creations were built and Scrabble was won.
Upon his death, he declared to those in his presence, “I Love You All.” Lesson learned: LOVE is present in the beginning as it is in the end.
Jerry was indeed the true “Gentleman and Scholar,” which was his favorite complimentary phrase.
Visitation will take place on Friday, September 15, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. until time of prayers at 10:15 a.m. at Norris-Segert Funeral Home & Cremation Services , 132 Fremont St., West Chicago, followed by mass at St. Irene's Catholic church , 28W441 Warrenville Rd., Warrenville, IL where Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m, and Interment at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton, IL. Memorial donations in Jerome's name can be made to the Seasons Hospice Foundation (The Ruthie Fund), and Catholic Charities USA.