Cover photo for Leon Zarate's Obituary
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1921 Leon 2016

Leon Zarate

October 9, 1921 — December 15, 2016

Leon Zarate , age 95, of Warrenville, passed away Thursday, December 15, 2016. He was born on October 9, 1921 in San Luis Potosi Mexico to Jacob and Emeteria Zarate. Leon attended St. Mary’s grammar school and West Chicago Community High School where he was on the football team. He was drafted into the US Army during WWII. In his younger days he worked as a caddy at St. Andrew Golf Course, and also at Monarch Foods in West Chicago where he met his future wife, Arlene Kroning. They were married on October 18, 1952 at Trinity Lutheran Church in West Chicago. As a family man, Leon worked as a printer for the Strathmore Printing Company for over 33 years and was a member of the 25 year Club. He also worked for the Kelmscott Printing Company until the age of 79. Leon did house painting for many family members during his lifetime and enjoyed helping his brother-in-laws working on many remodeling projects. During his retirement he played golf, did yard work and gardening. He loved reading the sports page about the Chicago Bears and up until last year could tell you how to fix the Cubs management. Even in to his early 90’s, he would go out to his beloved garage and tinker with something, sometimes even shoveling a little snow.

But his fondest memories were of spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, and taking his weekly visits around town. Thank you to his friends at Mike and Denise’s, the Courtyard Banquets and Family Foods of Warrenville. Special thanks to the city of Warrenville, Ray A. Atkinson, for helping him and his good friend, neighbor and counselor, Emmah. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Leon is survived by three daughters; Cheryl (Ed) Perkis of St. Charles, Carol Pena of So. Elgin and Meryl (John) Yorkson of New London, WI; three sons; Darrel (Patty) Zarate of Yorkville and David and Dale of Warrenville; 10 grandchildren; Dan, Joe and Jake Zarate, Brenda (Jason) Behrends, Katie and Dan Perkis, Lisa (David) Alonzo, Sheila Pena, Ricky (Nina) Pena and Aaron Yorkson; 8 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters, Jane Rodriguez and Catherine (late Robert) Rzeszotarski; and many nieces; nephews; relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Arlene Zarate; 1 brother; Modesto “Mo” (Marion) Zarate; infant son, Gerald; 2 great-grandchildren, Gabriella and Emerson.

Visitation will be held on Friday, December 30, 2016 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Norris-Segert Funeral Home & Cremation Services , 132 Fremont St. (one block north of Washington St. & Main Street), West Chicago. He will lie in state on Saturday, December 31, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church , 331 George St., West Chicago. Reverend Fred Gaede officiating. Interment Glen Oak Cemetery in West Chicago. In lieu of flowers donations in Leon’s memory can be made to Trinity Lutheran Church , 331 George St., West Chicago, IL 60185. For information 630-231-0060 or

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