Gustavus Levant Hackley Jr. "Lee" was born Dec. 24, 1917, in Oak Park, one of five children born to Adeline Bangs Hackley and Gustavus Levant Hackley Sr. He grew up in Oak Park, graduated from Oak Park/River Forest High SChool and then attended the University of Illinois at Champagne/Urbana. He served during WWII as an Air Corps pilot, but very briefly much to his dismay, as the war came to an end.|
He then launched his career in advertising with publishers including the Chicago Herald American, Saturday Evening Post and Parade Magazine. Later, Lee developed a career as an inventor and marketer of products in the automotive and recreational vehicle industries. Following the war in 1949, he and his wife, Helen, lived in Batavia and then Geneva, where they raised their three children, Chuck, Tom and Nancy. His work then moved them onto Wayzata, Minn. (1960 to 1967), Bloomfield Hill, Mich. (1967-1980) and back to Geneva, where he enjoyed his retirement. After Helen's death, he married Kathleen O'Brien Wilson who had also been widowed. Their spouses and children had been long-time friends and the marriage now blessed them as a double family.
Lee was a member and leader of the Geneva Golf Club, Wayzata Country Club and Bloomfield Open Hunt Club, where he served as unification president and was awarded the colors of the hunt for his meritorious service.
Uncle Lee was adored by a generation of his nieces and nephews for whom he was the "Leader of the Pack" during many summers spent at the family cottage in Stony Lake, Mich.
He served on the vestry of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia, PTO boards, Cub Scout Pack leader and as one of Delnor Hospital's major fundraisers.
He also enjoyed leading roles in many amateur productions by the Playmakers Theater in Geneva and the St. Dunstan's Theater in Bloomfield Hills.
On the morning of Oct. 16, Lee's long life of 95 years came to a close. He is survived by his wife, Kay, with whom he shared a happy and joyful second wind for the past 28 years; his children, Chuck (and Lori) Hackley of Geneva, Tom Hackley (and Emily Bettencourt) of Harbert, Mich., and Nancy (and Dennis) Mummert of Harbor Springs, Mich.; three grandchildren, Heidi (Friedler), and Chip and Ethan; and by eight great-grandchildren, Patty, Henry and Kate Friedler (New Orleans, La.), Charlie, Clay and Tommy Hackley (Wilmette), and Lucy and Beck Kackley (Denver, Colo.).
Peace to his memory and the legacy of his life.
For more information, please call the Yurs Funeral Home of Geneva at 630-392-3002.
Published in Kane County Chronicle on Oct. 22, 2013