John Sobol, 82, of Granite City, Ill., born Oct. 2, 1933, died Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.
John passed away surrounded by his devoted family in central Florida after a very long bout with Parkinson's disease. He never gave up.
He was born to Polish immigrants, Victor and Angela Sobolewski in Madison, Illinois, where his family ran the neighborhood grocery.
John was a real estate broker and developer who spent most of his life selling homes in Granite City, Ill. He lived with a selfless passion and never complained: being positive was his style. "Beat Yesterday," "What the mind can dream, it can achieve," and "You make your own luck," were a few of the thousands of original and borrowed quotes that he used daily and he lived by. He was creative and always looking for ways to help people achieve their dream of home ownership. His clever bumper sticker in the 1980s was locally popular: "Sobol Says, See Sobol Sold Signs Sooner"!
He was preceded in death by eight siblings.
Surviving are his wife, Charlotte A. Kokotovich, who he married in 1959. Together they had five children: Mary (Fran) Lamprey of Orlando, Fla., Lisa (Dr. Kevin) O'Loughlin of Niceville, Fla., JD (Dr. Kristin Wright) Sobol of St. Louis, Mo., Valerie (Dr. Greg) Stella of Ormond Beach, Fla., and Brent (Laura Crowe) Sobol of Atlanta, Ga. His children loved him immensely, as did his seven grandchildren: Brian Luchini, Caroline Given, Megan and Erin O'Loughlin, Charlotte M. Sobol, John Stella, and Jane Sobol - all with "a little 'JS' in them". The family knows exactly what that "JS" character trait means: a deep kind and generous spirit (almost defying rationale), a gregarious oddness (that bordered on embarrassing to his kids while growing up), and a zest for the impromptu. THAT is, "Having a little JS in you" and THAT IS his immortal and lavish gift to his family. You cannot buy it and fortunately, once you possess it . . . you cannot give it away!! Thanks Dad-you will be greatly missed!
Funeral: Funeral services were held Jan. 29, 2016, at graveside in Ormond Beach, Fla.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Feb. 21, 2016