Cover photo for Alois "Al" Orzech's Obituary
Alois "Al" Orzech Profile Photo

Alois "Al" Orzech

December 26, 1942 — May 2, 2022


Alois "Al" Orzech

Age 79 of Gardner, Illinois, died Monday, May 2, 2022 at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Illinois.

Many times, when someone passes from our world to the next people say ''They lost their battle against __ ." The truth is that it isn't the case. To lose a battle one must stay under the control of whatever you are battling against. You win the battle when you get what you are battling to relinquish control. Al's last days were a perfect example of what it means to emerge victorious.

Besieged in recent months with many health problems including two recent heart surgeries and a broken vertebrae that caused him immense pain whether at rest or walking, Al decided enough was enough. On the cool, lightly raining evening of May 2nd he made the choice to let go and to finally defeat everything that his body was doing to him. On that evening he went back home to Heaven and joined his second wife, Brenda Mazan, as well as his parents, Cecylia (Piehowiak) and Ludwik (Louis), and all of his siblings, Casimera (Bronk), Joseph, Maryann (Lewandowski), Victoria, Helen (Mamola), Irene (Leher), and Stella (Dryer).

Al fought so very hard in his final days but perhaps it was his not wanting to go to a nursing home that propelled him to make the choice to leave this earthly home behind and to choose the peace and love of Heaven. He now can find out what it was his mom wanted to say to him when she passed and really get to know his dad who passed away when Al was only two years old. Maybe the two of them are fishing as you read this.

He really enjoyed fishing. He passed the time many days at any lake or river he could find to go fishing. It was his chance to be out in nature and to enjoy some quiet time all to himself as well as to enjoy the challenge the fish provided. He was also a big fan of horse racing and this time of the year was one of his favorites as the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont Stakes all will be happening.

He worked and provided for his family and himself in many different jobs. He was a foreman at a very young age of a felt plant, he managed and delivered explosives for an explosives company, sold cable television, managed newspaper sales crews, and drove a bus (most recently for Illinois Central). He was a hard worker and won awards for his reliability and his willingness to go the extra mile to solve a problem in order to deliver for his employers. He appreciated his coworkers immensely, many of whom became his friends.

His life will be celebrated every day by his son Lou and his wife Lisa, their children Julia, Evan, and Aaron, his daughter Michelle (Schultz) and her children Christopher and Cyle Schultz and their spouses Cassandra and Angelica, his five great grandchildren Noah, Savea, Sic'Kari King, Senicco, and Stabella as well as his very good and dear friend Laura McFarland and his beloved ferret.

Whenever he ended a phone call with Lou or Michelle he would always say to "Give everyone a kiss for me." Whether you knew him as Dad, Grandpa, Papa Al, Uncle Al, or just Al please celebrate his life by making sure to say "I love you" to those you care about just as he did.

Cremation rites have been accorded, and no formal public services will be held.

Family and friends are encouraged to sign the guest book, upload photographs and share Al’s memorial page online through social media.

Cremation services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. in Gardner. (815-237-2526)


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