James P. Sczepaniak
1935 - 2014
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James P. Sczepaniak

Born: Dec. 1, 1935

Died: Nov. 9, 2014

James Paul Sczepaniak, age 78, passed away peacefully Sunday, November 9, 2014, at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center following complications from prostate cancer.

Born December 1, 1935, in Joliet to the late Stanley and Rose (nee Petan), he was a lifetime resident. James graduated from St. Joseph Catholic Grade School, Joliet Township High School Class of 1953 and Joliet Junior College. Jim received a bachelor's degree from Lewis University and a master's degree from Northern Illinois University. He retired after 33 years teaching social studies at Lockport Township High School Dist. #205 and Valley View School Dist. #365-U (Romeoville High School).

Jim served in the U.S. Army. He took great pride in his civic involvement and proudly served on the Joliet Public Library Board of Trustees for more than 30 years, most recently as President of the Board. Active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Joliet, the Holy Name Society of St. Joseph Church, the St. Joseph Church Seniors, Oakwood Estates Homeowners Association, and the Illinois Retired Teachers Association.

Beloved husband of 5 years to Frances H. Naal (Nee Tures); loving brother of Lois M. Geary; brother-in-law of James (Joann) Gordon of Springfield, VA; dear uncle of Kim Ann (Wayne) Meirhofer and Steven P. (Shirley Boatman) Geary. Survived by Fran's children, Meg (Dale) Underwood Jr., John (Micki) Naal and Colette Naal. Many dear nieces, nephews, cousins, godchildren, beloved students and friends also survive.

Preceded in death by his first wife of 44 years, Mary Clare (nee Gordon) in 2007; and his parents, Stanley and Rose (nee Petan).

Jim was very devoted to his hobbies of stamp and coin collecting. He also greatly enjoyed taking pictures and sending them on to his many relatives, friends and acquaintances.

The family wishes to express their sincere thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at both Presence St. Joseph Medical Center and Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home for excellent care provided to Jim.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jim's name to Lewis University, University of St. Francis or Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home would be greatly appreciated.

A Celebration of James' life will begin on Thursday, November 13, 2014, with prayers in the funeral home chapel at 9:20 a.m. then driving in procession to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Joliet for a Mass of Christian Burial to be held at 10:00 a.m. Interment to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at Tezak Funeral Home, 1211 Plainfield Rd, Joliet, IL 60435 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. St. Joseph Holy Name Society will conduct a Prayer Service at 4:30 p.m.

Obituary and Tribute Wall James T. Sczepaniak at www.tezakfuneralhome.com or for information, 815-722-0524.

Arrangements entrusted to:

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Herald-News from Nov. 11 to Nov. 12, 2014.
03:00 - 07:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
St. Joseph Cemetery
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37 entries
January 26, 2015
We are very sorry for the loss of Jim.
He was a great friend to my Mother and Father and such a WONDERFUL person! We will miss him this year @ the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House and we will always miss his photography skills and pictures.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
With Love-
Gerri Bertino
Pete Bertino
Bertino Family
December 28, 2014
One of my fondest memories of my high school years is Mr. Sczepaniak's World History class. I only just learned of his passing and it made me so sad. He was a great teacher, making history come alive and relevant. I'll always remember one thing he said to me in class..."You can put your hand down, Joanne. I know you know the answer." Rest with the angels. You are missed. Joanne Kerschbaum, LWHS Class of 1969
Joanne Schullo
November 20, 2014
I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Sczepaniak's passing. He was my favorite teacher at Lockport West back in the 60's. He made a boring subject history exciting. I now read many historical novels.
Donna Worch Beaver
November 18, 2014
He invented cool points. I always got an A from his class he wanted me to succeed and to this day I get it. Rest in peace
rex baldei
November 18, 2014
Mr Sczepaniak was one of my social studies teachers at Lockport West. He was very thorough and exacting and pushed his students to be their very best. A good man and teacher.
Barbara Friedhoff-DeSanti
November 16, 2014
What a shock. Jim was my neighbor as I grew up, up the block from him and Mary Clare. As a child, they would wave to us as we played ball in the street. As an adult, I loved running in to them at St Joes Park or Osco. Just a man I will never forget. Kind, honest, fun and friendly. God be with you, Jim.
Chuck Gerl
November 15, 2014
Fran & Family, sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Praying for you and your family at this difficult time. Tammy CNA
November 13, 2014
Jim said he was drawn to Fran because she was "always smiling." Now that his life has been "Changed but not taken away," I will pray that this good man will himself smile as he savors the realm of unconditional love. May he continue to be a great teacher, suggesting to his God and hers ways to make certain that Fran's sense of loss will one day soon give way to many new reasons to smile. Annette Sara Cunningham, New York City
November 13, 2014
Please accept our sincere sympathy on Jim's passing. He was a real gentleman and a considerate, caring human being. He will be missed by all who knew him. We pray for the repose of his soul.

Mike and Sheila Sasso
November 12, 2014
Mr sczepaniak thank you for having the patience to deal with an unruly student. Your teachings have brought me knowledge for which I am grateful for.may the good lord open the pearly gates and bring you into heaven to continue your teachings in the afterlife.also may your family and friends find peace and comfort in the memories that each of us hold about you.your former student patrick kennedy class of 1981 rhs. Rest in peace sir
Patrick Kennedy
November 12, 2014
My sympathy to the family.
Kathy Spieler
November 12, 2014
Dear Fran,
My Prayers are with you. Jim will truly be
missed by everyone. We worked on many campaigns together.
Bernie Spieler
November 12, 2014
Dear Fran,
You have my prayers and sympathy. God bless you. Love, Sr. Mary Agnes Cross
Sr. Mary Agnes Cross
November 12, 2014
Rest in peace Mr Sczepaniak. You were a great friend to our family.
Sean Dillon
November 12, 2014
Joliet won't be the same since Jim death. Whenever we would go to St. Joes park we would run into Jim. What a wonderful & Outstanding friend he was. We will surely miss you. Jim is now with his best friend & wife Mary Clare.
Jerry Muhich
November 11, 2014
Rest in peace
Brian Leon
November 11, 2014
Mr. Sczepaniak was a very nice teacher. I had him in Romeoville high school. May he rest in peace.
Victoria Alvarez Stonebraker
November 11, 2014
Mr. Sczepaniak taught me so much about loving what history was about and not just the facts and dates, but the real impact over time. I will always remember him and his class. And that the House of Windsor was once the House of Hanover, gestures and all.
thank you for the lessons I have carried for three decades of life and will carry for many more.
TR Hanley, RHS Class of 1986
Terrance Hanley
November 11, 2014
Mr. Szepaniak was an excellent AP American History teacher, and I enjoyed his class and his delivery style (1984.) It is sad hear of his passing. My condolences to the family, and be at peace knowing that he was a great influence on many stundents' lives from RHS.
Eric Grebner
November 11, 2014
Mr. Sczepaniak was one of the best teachers I have ever had the pleasure to have encountered. He cared dearly for his students, and always had a comical knack at breaking up the sometimes boring histoy lessons. He will now join his beloved wife Mary Claire, whom I also had the pleasure of having as a teacher at North View School in Heaven forever. R.I.P. Big Guy. You Will be Missed.
David Anderson
RHS/BHS Class of 1977 Student
November 11, 2014
You were such an important figure in my life I loved working extra projects with you. You will be missed dearly. RIP God bless you and your loved ones. Ann Arndt Rosales
November 11, 2014
Great Statesman.
Kennedy Millsap
November 11, 2014
A Great Statesman I had the honor too serve on the Joliet Public Library Board with Mr Sczepaniak for sixteen years a caring person I love him very much. Great Statesman.
Kennedy Millsap
November 11, 2014
My heart goes out to his family and friends, may he R I P

Russ Carroll
November 11, 2014
Jim and I became friends during my sophomore year at Lewis. He was a wonderful influence on me and is responsible for teaching me how to be a serious college student. Over the years, I have told others about Jim's influence on me and how it made all the difference in the world. He was a tremendous role model.
Bill Tolone (Lewis, '61)
Bill Tolone
November 11, 2014
R.I.P. He was my H.S. History teacher. I also had his first wife in 4th grade
Ann Bonilla-Kramer
November 11, 2014
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sczepaniak family. Mr. Sczepaniak was a true gentlemen and genuinely cared about all of his students.
Bill Schlegel
November 11, 2014
You were an amazing teacher and an example to all of what respectable was!
melissa kostelec-burks
November 11, 2014
Me. Sczepaniak was my seventh grade teacher. My first teacher in a new town and school. He will always hold a special place in my memory as sincerely dedicated educator. He made his students feel important and respected. I will always feel honored that he was my teacher.
Charlotte Pate
November 11, 2014
My sincere condolences to your family. Jim "Sipe" was a dear friend of my sister Peg's from high school on. He spent many hours at our house with Peg and many of their friends. I didn't see him often, but when I did, it was like meeting an ole friend with many fond memories.
Larry Mudron (Franktown, CO)
Larry Mudron
November 11, 2014
My sympathies to the Jim's family. Jim was a good friend and colleague for many years.

Jerry Wessel
November 11, 2014
My sincere sympathies to Mr. Sczepaniak's family.
Mr. Sczepaniak was my favorite teacher at Lockport West HS.
Sidonie Johnson
November 11, 2014
Mr. Sczepaniak was my US History teacher at Lockport West High School. He was an amazing teacher with a big booming voice & made history come alive for we students. Ever the gentleman and was firm as well as powerful teacher. He made you want to learn a subject that some would call boring. For me, it was my favorite subject and I believe it was because of this great teacher. I still remember so much from my history class. Peggy Young Class of 1969.
Peggy Young
November 11, 2014
This is so sad! He was a friend of my dads, he was my social studies teacher and I learned so much from him. Mr. Sczepaniak was such a wonderful person, teacher. He will be missed! My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family.
Kathleen Kibler
November 11, 2014
He was my social study teacher at Lockport West High School.
My Deepest Sympathy to his entire family.
Marie Peetoom
November 11, 2014
We were saddened to hear about Jim. God bless. Dennis & Dolores Jaskoviak
November 11, 2014
Our hearts are broken as we read this notice online this morning. Jim was the ultimate gentleman and we were proud to call him our friend. No matter where you met up with Jim he always had a minute to "catch up" Our deepest sympathy.
Frank & Pat Desiderio
Frank & Pat Desiderio
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