John Joseph Case
May 08, 1930 - June 29, 2017
John J. Case, 87, of Naperville, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday evening, June 29th, 2017.
He was born on May 8, 1930 to John Peter Case and Esther M. Case (nee Penfold) in Lisle Township, Illinois. After the family moved from York Center to a farm in Naperville, he transferred from St. Joan of Arc School to Saints Peter and Paul School. John graduated from Naperville High School in 1948. There, he held a track record for running the mile which was not broken for decades.
John graduated in 1952 from Iowa State University where he was the Captain of the Track and Cross Country Teams and ran a 4:11 mile on cinders. Roger Bannister had yet to break the 4:00 mile at this time. John was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.
John married Joyce Burg, the true love of his life, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville on May 30, 1953.
He served as a Communications Officer in the Air Force during the Korean War from 1952-1953. John continued his patriotic duty in the USAF as a designated combat crew member and continued in the Air National Guard Communication Squadron until he retired as a Major in 1978.
John worked for the PAG agriculture business until its closing in the 1960’s. He then bought the plant and started Agrinetics which specialized in the production of hybrid seed corn. His business employed thousands of young people in Naperville with detasseling and roguing summer jobs. This physically demanding work became a rite of passage for Naperville youth. “Mr. Case” was both respected and feared — the reason there was never a problem despite hundreds of teenagers working and congregating together daily for weeks at a time.
John served in many charitable and civic capacities including Republican Precinct Committeeman, Lisle Township Supervisor, temporary Chairman of DuPage County, DuPage County Forest Preserve President, Benet Academy School Board President, Bank of Sugar Grove President, North Central College Board of Directors, PACE Chairman and Board President and Knights of Columbus member. He also served on the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Council and School Board and was an usher for many years.
Sharp until the end, he never missed a question from Trivial Pursuit in the History, Geography or Political Science categories.
John is survived by his wife, Joyce, his children, John Peter (Rose), Sara (Guy) Tenini, Kathryn (Clyde) Shields, Matthew Paul (Angie), and Marilyn (Mike) Gallagher, 14 grandchildren,15 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Esther, his siblings Jean, Carol, Joseph, Donald, Joan, Lois, Jane Koller and Constance Lally.
John’s family would like to thank everyone who helped during his last few months especially his caretakers Vita Carter and Sheila Thomas.
For more information, please call 630-355-0213 or visit www.friedrich-jones.com
A visitation for Mr. Case’s family and friends will be held on Thursday, July 6 from 3-8 PM at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 44 S Mill St., Naperville, IL. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, July 7 at 9:30 AM at Ss. Peter & Paul Church, 26 N Ellsworth St., Naperville, IL Interment will follow Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Naperville.
Memorials: Little Friends, Inc., 140 N. Wright Street, Naperville, IL 60540, 630-355-6533.