John J. Machias, 81, of Elburn, passed away Friday evening, Feb. 11, 2011, at Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles.
He was born Nov. 30, 1929, in the Bronx of New York, the son of John J. Sr. and Edith (Nikkenen) Machias.
He grew up in the Bronx, where everyone called him Johnny. When he was 9, the family moved to Joliet, Ill., where he graduated high school in 1948.
Following graduation, he attended Lewis College in Lockport, Ill., for a time.
Johnny enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War. Upon his honorable discharge on May 10, 1952, Johnny began working for various companies in various sales and marketing positions, spending the last 18 years at U.S. Tsubakimoto, retiring in 1992.
Johnny met the love of his life after returning from the service. Coral Hock stole his heart, but gave hers in return, when they were united in marriage on Oct. 25, 1953, in Joliet.
They began their new life together in Joliet for a short time before moving to Aurora in 1955 and began raising a family. They traded the city streets for the country life in Nottingham Woods of Elburn in 1975, where Johnny felt right at home in the great outdoors and socializing with neighbors, many of whom became very close friends.
Johnny was one of the first members of Hughes Creek Golf Course when it opened, and he spent time on the links nearly every day thereafter. He and Coral were also members of the Kaneville United Methodist Church in Kaneville.
Johnny was a salesman at heart, even in retirement, and he enjoyed working part time for S.E.S. Construction Equipment in West Chicago, Ill. He also loved to travel with Coral to Brownsville, Texas; Ludington, Mich.; and Machias, Maine; among many others, making memories with every mile. In 1986, they travelled to Hawaii and sampled the island life.
Johnny also had a standing “play-date” every Friday with his grandchildren for many years. He was an avid golfer but also loved to fish and camp and played couples bridge for 40 years with the Pierson’s, Snyder’s and Johnson’s.
Johnny also gave of his time and heart to the Salvation Army, once travelling to South Dakota, where he helped to care for flood victims. Locally, he served as an election judge for Blackberry Township. Johnny loved to cheer for his Chicago teams, but no one cheered louder when he attended his daughter’s sporting events, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles to surprise her.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Coral Machias; his son Jeffrey Machias of Illinois, one daughter, Lea Ann (Tim) Brei of Cortland; five grandchildren, Jessica Machias of Texas, Willis Brei, Johnny Brei, Emmett Brei and Timmy Brei, all of Cortland; one sister, Barbara Machias of Joliet; two sister-in-laws, Lois (Leonard) Perretta of Joliet, and Beverly Suhadolc of Joliet; one brother-in-law, Jack (Charlene) Wagner of Shorewood, Ill.; and he was a favorite “Uncle Johnny” to 11 nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death in by his parents.
Visitation was Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Kaneville United Methodist Church, with a funeral service following the visitation. The Rev. Mark Harkness, pastor of the church, officiated, and interment will followed at Kaneville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “John Machias Memorial” and mailed in care of PO Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or at www.conleycare.com.