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Wendelin Schilli

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Wendelin Schilli Obituary
WENDELIN SCHILLI, 89 LOVING HUSBAND, FATHER, AND GRANDFATHER ROCKFORD - Wendelin Schilli, 89, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his family on August 5, 2014. Wendelin was born October 20th, 1924, in Lacarak, Yugoslavia, the son of Johann and Eva (Hammer) Schilli. Wendelin was one of 11 children and spent most of his childhood farming his father's land with his brothers and sisters. Wendelin and his family faced many hardships during WWII and were forced to flee Yugoslavia in lieu of the Russian advance and later the communist takeover by Marshal Tito in late 1944. He and his family were placed in a Displaced Persons (DP) camp in Austria where he met his wife of 65 years, Elisabeth Hedrich. Wendelin and Elisabeth were married in Judenburg, Austria on September 26, 1948. After struggling to make ends meet and care for his family in post war Austria, Wendelin immigrated to the United States in April of 1952. The Lowell family of Harvard, Illinois sponsored Wendelin and he worked as their farm hand. He later left the farm to go to work in Chicago, Illinois where he began his career in the meat processing and packaging industry. He first worked for the Earl Busch Sausage Company, and then later went on to spend 25 years at Oscar Mayer. Wendelin also worked to maintain the rental property he owned in Chicago. Wendelin later moved back to Harvard, Illinois in December of 1972 to run his own small farm raising chickens, rabbits, and turkeys. He and his wife, Elisabeth, also had a huge garden and would run a roadside stand on US RT. 14 selling many various types of vegetables and eggs during the summertime. In the fall of 1989 Wendelin and Elisabeth decided to retire from farming and Wendelin then lived the rest of his days in Rockford, Illinois. Wendelin was an avid professional wrestling fan and enjoyed spending time working on his home projects. He loved to tell his family stories about "home" and how he and his brothers and sisters farmed his father's land in Yugoslavia with their horses. He also liked to talk about his father's vineyards and the different types of wine and schnapps they produced. Survivors include his wife, Elisabeth; sons, Franz and Steven; his grandchildren, William, Amber, Michael, and Jenelle, and also his last remaining sibling, his sister, Eva Heim, of Judenburg, Austria. Wendelin was predeceased by his parents; his brothers, Franz, Johann, Anton, Stefan, Jakob, Peter, and Nikolaus; and also his sisters, Maria and Anna (Kaiser). Wendelin also lost his beloved daughter, Rosemarie Schilli, in 2005 after a brave battle against cancer. The Schilli family would like to send heartfelt thanks to Dr. Khattak and her staff, and all of the caring nurses who helped Wendelin at Swedish American Hospital. Also all the wonderful folks from Northern Illinois Hospice and his care givers from Peak Health Services. Our beloved "Pasch" will be most sorrowfully missed. A service to celebrate Wendelin's life will be 2 p.m. Saturday, August 9, 2014 at Sunset Funeral Home 8800 N. Alpine Road in Machesney Park with Pastor Dale Anderson officiating. Visitation for Wendelin will be from 1 until 2 p.m. Saturday, at the funeral home. Entombment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.sunsetfhmemgardens.com.
Published in Rockford Register Star from Aug. 7 to Aug. 8, 2014
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