Michael “Chet” Conness, 95, of Toluca, passed away peacefully at Hines VA Hospital on March 23, 2016, with his daughter and son by his side.
Visitation for Mike will from 9:00 to 11:00 am Wednesday March 30, 2016, at St. Mary’s Church in Wenona. Funeral mass will follow at 11:00 am. Franciscan Friars will officiate. Burial will take place at Lost Lands Cemetery, where full military rites will be accorded. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family of Mike Conness. Hagi Funeral home, Streator, is in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers will be Bob Conness, Joe Lutz, Brad Bartoli, Rich Rundle, Jagun Rimes and Jim Thomas. Honorary pallbearers will be John Foote.
Mike was born on April 17, 1920 to Michael and Louise (Cull) Conness. He married Lucille Zelenak on August 11, 1941.
He is survived by his daughter, Mary Lou Bartoli of Wenona, his son Chester (Debra Ann) Conness, of Lostant, a sister Mary Lou (Carl) Tomlinson of Washburn, a brother, James Conness of Ottawa, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Lucille in 1994, a daughter, Armella Conness in 2013, brothers,William, Ben, Jerome, Francis and Edmund Conness, a son-in-law, Dr. Charles Bartoli in 1998 and a grandson, Michael Bartoli in 1973.
He served in the United State Army from 1942 to 1945. He was a part of the Co.E 544th Engineer Amphibian Regiment. He enjoyed farming, until he semi-retired at the age of 85. After that he kept busy helping his friend Joe Lutz.
Mike was member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Wenona, V.F.W. Post #492 and the Knights of Columbus Council #790. He kept busy helping with bingo, fish fry’s and dinners until he was in his 80’s. He was a member of National Farmers Organization where he advocated for fair market prices.
He enjoyed sharing WWII stories and had a strong sense of patriotism. He had a passion for politics and would share his Democratic views with anyone that would lend an ear. He was an avid fan of John Wayne and western movies. During football season you would find him cheering for a Minnesota Viking’s victory. In the off season, his attention was given to the St. Louis Cardinals. He would spend his late evenings reading, until his eyesight began to fail him. Mike was a devout catholic and always placed the Lord first in his life.