1930 - 2018
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ELGIN- John S. (Jack) Shales of Elgin passed away on January 26, 2018. Jack was born on November 13, 1930 and lived his entire life in Elgin, with the exception of his three years in the Marine Corp serving his country in Korea from 1951-1953. In 1954, Jack married Marlene Kane, his high school sweetheart. They recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. Jack was hired at Illinois Hydraulic Construction Co. by owner Pete Rakow in 1954. Rakow, along with community leaders Bob Hoffer, Sr. and Bill Brady, instilled in Jack a commitment to charitable and civic causes that lasted his entire life. In 1983, after 27 years with Illinois Hydraulic, Jack co-founded the construction company Seagren/Shales, Inc. In 2001, he was a founding partner of Shales McNutt Construction, where he remained a valuable asset throughout his life. Jack found ways to make each of his employees feel valued and appreciated. Jack was a member of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Plato Center, where he enjoyed participating in the Corinthians class. Jack is survived by his loving wife, Marlene, four children; Michael (Trecia) Shales, Kristin (Doug) Durham, Heidi (Jeff) Baudry, and John (Shelly) Shales; fourteen grandchildren; Anna (Frank) Machniak, Gwen Shales(Kyle Johnson), Leah (Dan) Roe, Jack F. Shales, Raven and Hope Shales, Kyle and Jesse (Sabrina) Durham, Zak and Alec Baudry, Sydney, Matthew, Ellen, and Jake Shales; and four (and a half) great-grandchildren; Asher and Etta Johnson, Lillian and Timothy Machniak, and Baby Roe (due this summer). Jack sincerely loved the community of Elgin and was involved in many civic and charitable organizations. He was a prolific fundraiser, and was involved in the United Way of Elgin campaigns for more than 60 consecutive years. At the time of his passing, he was actively raising money for the Elgin YMCA-owned Camp Edwards. Jack's unwavering compassion and desire to "give back" has benefitted countless lives, and he always had a genuine interest in each and every person he met. To honor Jack's memory and passion for giving, the family requests (in lieu of flowers) donations/ memorials be made to Cornerstone Church, Plato Center, and Camp Edwards. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Laird Funeral Home is in care of arrangements. 847-741-8800 or

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Published in Daily Herald from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2018.
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11 entries
January 23, 2020
My sincerest condolences to the family. I remember Jack fondly and was happy to have known him at Illinois Hydraulic, Faith UMC and in the Elgin community. He was truly inspirational to many people and will be missed.

Cindy Halsey
February 1, 2018
Dear Marlene and Family,
I am so very sorry to hear about your beloved Jacks' passing. I often said Jack was once of my favorite people. His kind heart, generous spirit and beautiful smile will be remembered by all of us who were lucky enough to know him. The last time Jack and I met for lunch, he spoke about a family vacation to the east coast. His eyes sparkled as he recalled special moments he shared with his wife, children and grandchildren. He ended that conversation expressing gratitude for his ability to have that time with those he loved the most. He will truly be missed. I will pray that God keeps you all in His loving care as you navigate life without him.
With love, Nancy and Scott Vance
January 31, 2018
Marlene and family, so sorry to hear of Jack's passing. You are in my prayers. I had the pleasure of being involved in a number of fundraising events supported by Jack over the years. I will be forever grateful for the support he generously extended to the counseling agency I have served for over 25 years. Sincerely, John Ellison
John Ellison
January 31, 2018
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Frederick Paulke
January 30, 2018
Marlene and family of Jack Shales, It's hard to understand why people are taken from us, but find comfort in knowing you all were a special part of a well-lived life. Marlene this is Blanca I use to work at the Well Child Clinic with you.. So sorry of your loss. Blessings to you and your family.

Blanca Cobos
Blanca Cobos
January 30, 2018
Marlene and family Fred and I are so sad for the passing of Jack
Fred and Jack go way back from school day to Marines-
Take and God Bless-
Your in our thoughts and prayers
Fred - Diana Drago
January 30, 2018
I'm so sorry for your loss.
Maria Topete De Martinez
January 29, 2018
I am sad to hear of Jack's passing. He was instrumental in my employment at Illinois Hydraulic. I had the pleasure of knowing him from church and many city affairs. I also worked with son John. My sincerest condolences to all of you. Cindy Loies Halsey
Cindy Halsey
January 29, 2018
Dear Marlene, Family and Extended Family of Jack: We are so sorry for your loss. Marlene, we so appreciate the sharing of Jack's life,and your life, as well as the entire family, for all the service you have given our community over all the years. We are truly grateful.
Sincerely, Ron Ahlman and Keith and Dawn Brill
January 29, 2018
RIP Jack
You will be missed by many
Marty Corcoran
January 29, 2018
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
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