Mr. Oley R. Bochantin of DuBois, IL, departed this life on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at St. Maryís Hospital in Centralia, IL surrounded by his family. He had attained the age of 91 years.
Oley was born on February 26, 1928 in Tamaroa, IL the son of Andrew and Agnes (Kuberski) Bochantin. He was united in marriage to Evelyn Zelasko on July 24, 1954 and she survives his passing.
A Korean war veteran, Oley proudly served in the US Army from 1951-1952 with the 13th Combat Engineers, earning the rank of Sergeant and receiving a Korean Service Medal, Bronze Campaign Star and United Nations Service Medal.
In addition to his unwavering patriotism, Oley demonstrated a strong work ethic. In his early years, he owned a logging business, worked at Ford Lincoln Mercury in St. Louis as a welder, and selling and repairing McCulloch chain saws. In 1965, Oley became Postmaster of DuBois, a position that he held until he retired in 1990. He was very proud to be the longest serving Postmaster of DuBois with his 25 years of service.
As a member of St. Charles Catholic Church, Oley served as the caretaker of the church cemetery since 1964, where he estimated that he assisted with over 600 burials during that time. He also assisted at Chapel Hill Cemetery in DuBois. Oley was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 513 in Du Quoin, IL.
Oley enjoyed the outdoors, farming, gardening, hunting and fishing. His quick wit, sense of humor, and uncanny memory contributed to the telling of many entertaining stories. He liked to dance and even won several dance competitions with his wife Evelyn in their early years. He enjoyed Polka music, listening to Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn songs, and on certain occasions would delight his audience with his unique train whistle sound. He was a lifelong fan of St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and could often be found on summer evenings sitting on his carport listening to the games on KMOX radio.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sons Robert G. ìBobbyî and Dennis W, one daughter Marietta ìMariî Smith, one granddaughter Bridget K. Jimenez, five brothers, Tommy, Nick, Clarence and Randy Bochantin and Andrew Bochantin in infancy and three sisters, Viola Pero, Emily Lynn and Marcella Sue Roznowski.
Other survivors include seven sons; Curtis L. (Monica) Bochantin, Tamaroa, IL, Richard A. (Jeannette) Bochantin, DuBois, IL, Oliver J. Bochantin, Wheat Ridge, CO, Mark D. (Melissa) Bochantin, Troy, MO, Patrick A. Bochantin, Radom, IL, Jerome C. (Felisha) Bochantin, Ashley, IL, Ronald F. (significant other Tanya Elmore) Bochantin, DuBois, IL; three daughters; Carla M. Bochantin, Ashley, IL, Rhonda C. (Kevin) McClain, Centralia, IL and Annette R. (Jeff) Higgins, Highland, IL. One son-in-law Charles S. ìChuckî Smith, Highland, IL, and one daughter-in-law Sheri D. Bochantin, Frankfort, KY. 13 grandchildren; Marlee, Spencer and Mason Bochantin; Kerri and Taylor Bochantin; Melanie Bochantin and Lauren Kested; Mallory and Levi Bochantin; Tyler and Chloe Higgins; Sydney and Andrew Bochantin; and Ana Hamilton and Curtis Bochantin.
Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 8, 2019 at Searby Funeral Home, Tamaroa, IL. Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 9, 2019 at St. Charles Catholic Church, DuBois, with Fr. Daniel Jurek and Fr. Oliver Nwachukwu officiating. Burial will be at St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, DuBois.
Military graveside rites will be conducted by the Du Quoin VFW, American Legion and US Army National Guard.
Mass memorials at St. Charles Catholic Church are welcome. Memorial donations in Oleyís name can alternately be made to the St. Charles Church Cemetery Fund and will be accepted by Searby Funeral Home, who is assisting the family with arrangements.
Oley leaves a legacy of duty to his country, pride in his family, and service to his church and community. He will be missed by many. A special thanks to the compassionate nurses, doctors and staff at St. Maryís Hospital, Barnes Hospital and Centralia Manor, Father Oliver Nwachukwu, and many others who cared for Oley on his journey home to the Lord and to peace.