ILLIS, Louis J., Jr.

Louis J. Illis, Jr. Dec 12 1926 – Jul 3, 2016 Louis James “Louie” Illis, Jr., 89, a lifelong resident of Omaha, Nebraska, passed away on Sunday, July 3, 2016. Louie was born on December 12, 1926, in Omaha to Hungarian immigrants Louis and Irene (Stolz) Illis, Sr., of Baja, Hungary and Torokkanizsa, Hungary (now Novi Knezevac, Serbia), respectively. Louie was bilingual in Hungarian. His parents instilled within him a love of his Hungarian ancestry and the traditions that he carried through his life. As a child, Louie enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping, as well as holidays and cultural celebrations with his family and friends. Louie graduated from South High School and attended Omaha University. A proud first generation American, Louie enlisted in the Army Air Force during World War II and began active service on June 10, 1945 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was stationed in Germany as a Control Tower Operator within the Army Airways Communications System. Louie earned the rank of Corporal and was awarded the Victory Medal and Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp. He was honorably discharged at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, on December 5, 1946. Louie returned to Omaha and met his beloved Lois Jean Stoll at the Hungarian Home. They were married October 25, 1952 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church with a reception at the Hungarian Home, followed by a honeymoon to the Ozarks, Great Smoky Mountains, and New Orleans. The couple’s first child, Mary, died at birth in 1955. They welcomed daughter Lynnette (Staroska) in 1955, daughter Laureen “Laurie” (Willemyns) in 1957, and son Louis J. Illis, III in 1961. Louie was a devoted and loving husband and father, and the family spent many happy times traveling around the United States and Canada in a camper, as well as fishing and boating at their cabin on Bad Medicine Lake in Minnesota. When his only grandchild, Brian Joseph Blackford, was born, Louie served as an example of everything good a man should be. Louie taught Brian to fish and drive a boat. Fond memories were made together on road trips to Walt Disney World, building a prize-winning Pinewood Derby car, and trick-or-treating on Halloween. Louie worked as a civilian mechanic at Offutt Air Force Base for 21 years, retiring in 1986. He had previous employment at Louis Service Station, a Skelly Oil station franchise launched by his father, which was located at the intersection of 42nd and Center Streets in Omaha. Louie was a devoted Catholic and member of Holy Cross parish. He was known for his wonderful sense of humor and practical jokes, and was kind, generous, and the first person to volunteer to help someone in need. When his Uncle Julius Illis and wife Madeline sought refuge in Omaha following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Louie helped them to assimilate to the United States. He remained devoted to Julius and Madeline throughout their lives. Louie cared for his dear wife Lois during her long illness, maintaining a positive attitude that carried them both through that difficult time. After Lois passed away in 2004, Louie remained in the family home at 4220 Woolworth Avenue with the assistance of his three children. He continued to enjoy time spent at his cabin in Minnesota, taking walks through the Field Club area, loving the many dogs he made part of his family over the years, and listening to music, especially Frank Sinatra. Louie was present at the baptisms of his two great-granddaughters, Aurora Lois and Elise Simone, celebrated their first holidays with them, and carefully cradled them in his lap at every opportunity. Louie’s gentle smile and tender heart touched all those fortunate enough to meet him. Louie is survived by his daughters, Lynnette Staroska (Robert) and Laureen Willemyns (John); son, Louis J. Illis, III; grandson, Brian Joseph Blackford (Angela); and great-granddaughters, Aurora Lois Jensen Blackford and Elise Simone Jensen Blackford. Preceding him in death were his wife, Lois Jean (Stoll) Illis; his daughter, Mary; and his parents, Louis and Irene (Stolz) Illis, Sr. The family will receive friends Thursday, July 7th, from 6pm to 7pm at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 4810 Woolworth Ave., followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm at the church. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Friday, July 8th at 9:30am at Holy Cross Catholic Church. Interment, Calvary Cemetery with military honors. Memorials may be directed to the family.

HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK & CUTLER BEL AIR CHAPEL 12100 West Center Road Omaha, Nebraska 68114 (402) 391-3900

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