John E. Chekouras, Beloit, WI (1924-2014)
October 29, 1924 - July 5, 2014
John E. Chekouras , 89, of Beloit, WI, died Saturday, July 5, 2014, in his home surrounded by his family. He was born Oct. 29, 1924, the youngest of six children born to immigrant parents, George T. and Sophie (Pierson) Chekouras. He married Maureen T. Byrnes on May 3, 1952, in St. Thomas the Apostle Church by Msgr. Thomas O'Reilly. This union of marriage gave them their son, John F. Chekouras, and daughter, Mary A. Chekouras. John attended and graduated from public and parochial schools in Beloit, and was very proud to serve in the R.O.T.C. while in high school. A World War II Army Veteran, he served in the Army of Occupation being stationed in Belgium and Germany. John was an Interior Designer most of his life, having been a member of the American Society of Interior Designers. While in the field of Interior Design, he served on the curriculum advisory committees at Madison Area Tech. College and Blackhawk Tech. College. He was the assistant manager of Brusberg's Furniture Store for 17 years and went on to open Chekouras Interiors stores in Clinton, Janesville, and Beloit. For the past 13 years, he was in-house Interior Designer for the Carpet Market in Beloit. John thoroughly enjoyed his work, having just retired from the Carpet Market in February of 2014, after 75 years of employment.
In addition to his interest in Interior Design, John had a great love for music. He studied choral directing under the direction of Henry Debruyne, sang in Beloit's MasterWorks Chorus and directed church choirs in Madison, Waunakee, and St. Thomas the Apostle in Beloit. His last coral direction was completed after 10 ½ years of being Director of Music at St. Peter's Church in South Beloit, IL.
15 years ago, John and Maureen joined Our Lady of The Assumption Church, where John served on the Parish Council and the Vocation Committee. He was also a member of the Building Committee when the new church was built. He was president of the Beloit Serra Club for many terms and president of St. Thomas Parish Council for 11 years. As a youth, John was President of the Beloit C.Y.O (Catholic Youth Organization) in Beloit. In recent years he became active again in the Knights of Columbus, attaining third degree status and a member of the American Legion Dary-Paulsen Post 440 of Clinton, WI.
John is survived by his wife of 62 years, Maureen; daughter, Mary (Greg) Beardmore; daughter-in-law, Rosie Chekouras; foster daughter-in-law, Kris Bacon; eight grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, John F.; foster son, Phil Bacon; his parents; brothers: Tom, Carl, Dean; his sister, Antoinette (Sister Mary Irenaeus RSM); and baby sister, Olga.
John was a firm believer in his Catholic faith, absolutely devoted to his wife, Maureen, held family as a treasure to be enjoyed, took great joy in his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was a lifelong citizen of Beloit, and loved meeting new people everyday, always ready for a joke and good fun. We will miss that twinkle in your eye and ready smile, John. “The world will be a duller place, now that John is gone.”
John's Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 12, 2014, at ST. THOMAS the APOSTLE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 822 East Grand Avenue, Beloit, with Fr. John Hedrick officiating. Friends will be received on FRIDAY from 4 until 7 p.m. with a Rosary service at 7 p.m. at the BRIAN G. MARK FUNERAL HOME, 1000 Inman Parkway, Beloit, and, again, on Saturday at the CHURCH from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Following John's service, the cortege will proceed to Calvary Cemetery for burial and Full Military Burial Rites. In lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund will be established in John's honor to be distributed to his favorite charities. Please share a memory or a condolence with the Chekouras family on our website.
Brian G. Mark Funeral Homes
1000 Inman Parkway, Beloit 362-2000