Donald Victor Vesely, 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 5, 2021 at the Cates Hospice House in Ocala, Florida. Don was preceded 4 months in death by his loving wife, Phyllis, of 69 years.
Born in Chicago, Illinois on November 24, 1929 to parents Victory Vesely and Blanche (nee Obalil) Vesely the family resided in Chicago and Berwyn, Illinois. Don graduated in 1948 from Morton High School, where he also met his wife, Phyllis. After graduating with a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, he married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis, in 1952.
They began their 69-year loving and lasting marriage with Don being drafted and serving in the Korean Conflict stateside working at the nuclear research development facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During his military service he attained the rank of Colonel, was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
After two years of service, the newlyweds moved back to Chicago where Don worked at Western Electric as an engineer. They were blessed with two daughters, Kathy and Sherri, two grandchildren, Ashleigh and Chad, and two great grandsons, Brooks and Beau. Don and Phyllis loved being active, involved and fun-loving grandparents.
Serving his community, he was active in the Elmhurst American Legion Post #187 and participated in many Veteran's activities with his entire family. Proud of his Czech Heritage, he spoke Czech as a young man and participated in the local Czech community.
During his working career Don received two U.S. Patents, eventually going out on his own with Phyllis to own the Guardian Light Company in Chicago, IL. Don and Phyllis successfully built Guardian Light into a healthy, family owned and operated business. Upon retirement in 1996 they moved from Glen Ellyn, Illinois to the Citrus Hills Community in Hernando, Florida.
Don and Phyllis built their dream home, which Don designed, in the Citrus Hills Development. They truly enjoyed the Florida lifestyle of entertaining friends, family and taking their grandchildren to the wonderful experiences and sights of Florida. Don was an avid fisherman and golfer. He and Phyllis loved to cruise the Caribbean. Don was active as a Deacon at the Beverly Hills Community Church, was a poll worker, and called Bingo for many years at the Inverness Elks Lodge. In 2007 they downsized and moved to the Arbor Lakes Community in Hernando, Florida.
Don was a prolific reader who kept a detailed notebook of each book read and the date. He was a detailed grammarian who did not hesitate to correct your pronunciation of Czech words. He was and remained and avid Chicago Cub and Chicago Bear fan, and added the Tampa Bay Rays and Buccaneers in his Florida years. He had a sweet soul and a gift for jokes with his deadpan humor that went along with his love of red wine and cigars, all of which he enjoyed until the day he died.
Left to cherish his memory are daughter Kathy Vesely of St. Petersburg, Florida; daughter Sherri Porter, son-in-law Chuck Porter of Ocala, Florida; granddaughter Ashleigh Bryan, grand son-in-law Jason Bryan great grandsons Brooks and Beau Bryan, all of Charlotte, NC; and grandson Chad Glenn of Lisbon Portugal. Also surviving are his nieces; Debra (nee Vesely) Platek and husband Tim of Virginia, Laura (nee Vesely) McEllen and husband Michael of Illinois, and nephew Ken Vesely and wife Kristin of Illinois.
He was proceeded in death by his parents; wife, Phyllis; and brother Kenneth Vesely.
He will be interred September 22, 2021 at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell Florida in a private family service with Military Honors. Fero Funeral Home, Beverly Hills is in charge of his care. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to "Hospice of Marion County", 3231 SW 34th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474.
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Published by Citrus County Chronicle on Sep. 19, 2021.