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Robert Gerald “Red” Wirth, age 94, passed away on Nov. 21 in the Joliet Community Hospice, surrounding by his loving family. He was born in Joliet on February 8, 1925 to Herman and Josephine (Egan) Wirth. He is survived by his wife Betty (Carey), his six children: Robert (Mary), William, Mary (Dennis Evans), John, Joseph (Mary) and Carol (William) Knoch, five grandchildren: Susan (Garrett) Anderson, Jill (Jason) Wells, Elaine, Jessica (Jeff) Crompton and Leann (Joshua) Hurstik, and six great-grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Jaxon, Joseph, Finley, Taylor, and Emma. He is also survived by his sister Marlene (late Richard) Stubler and sister-in-law Waltraut (Werner) Zoglauer. He was preceded in death by his brothers Donald (Helen) and James (Waltraut), his sister Helen (Mario) Pozzi and two siblings who died in infancy: a brother John and sister June.
He graduated from St. Patrick’s grade school, Joliet Township High School and Metropolitan Business College. He sang in the A Cappella Choir and was a Golden Gloves boxer. He joined the U.S. Army in 1943. He was a paratrooper and sharpshooter in the 101st Airborne. He jumped into battle in Holland in Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne assault in history, where he was seriously wounded in combat. He earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, among other medals. He was personnel manager at Mastic Tile and he retired in 1986 from Illinois Job Service, where he was contract service representative. He enjoyed a long retirement, and throughout his life he took pleasure in fishing with his father, brothers and kids, was a master gardener with his brother Don, and loved to sing Irish folk songs. Red was known by everyone for his kindness and sense of humor. He died just 12 days before his 70th wedding anniversary.
The family will receive friends for a visitation at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road in Wilmington on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Funeral services will follow in St. Rose Catholic Church, 604 S. Kankakee Street in Wilmington at 11:30 a.m., where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Reverend Sebastian Gargol presiding.
Burial with full military honors will be in Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood.
Family and friends may sign the guest book, upload photographs or share Robert’s memorial page online by logging onto: www.BaskervilleFuneral.com/notices/Robert-Wirth
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the staff members at Joliet Area Community Hospice. The care and love shown in the past days will forever be remembered.
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington. (815-476-2181)
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