We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Ellinger-Kunz & Park Funeral Home & Cremation Service
John was an amazing man who fought courageously through some of the most difficult times of his life. He told everyone he would live to be 100, just because he wanted to be part of their lives for as long as he could.
John was born to Margaret and John “Jack” Reilly. After their divorce, he and his sister Judy live with their mother and aunt growing up. He had a special bond with his mom and his aunt. As a young man, he and his mother would go out dancing and even won a dance competition together. Even after he became wheelchair bound, he would get on the dance floor and dance. His aunt taught him how to cook, and when he entered the Army, he became an apprentice cook and baker.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby and his parents. He leaves behind three children, Gwen Reilly-Kasumu, Jeff (Dianna) Anderson, and Jason Reilly. He also leaves behind six step-children, Don Jr., Ed, Sheryl, Sharon, Pam and Barb and was preceded in death by his oldest stepson, “Big Don”. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren, Aisha, Keshia, Carlishia, Lanre, Toyibat, Korede, Jonathan, and Julie, many step grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was a jack of all trades, knowing a little bit about a lot of things—but also could tell you everything you needed to know when asked about the things he was passionate about. He collected a bit of everything. He always wanted to have what someone might need.
He loved to watch NASCAR, motorcycle races and any other kind of racing that involved big motors and speed. He loved music, especially going to listen to live bands. Every weekend he would find one of his favorite local bands to be a part of the group. He also loved to go to dinner theater and the State Fair.
Traveling was another passion. He was a truck driver and enjoyed seeing the country. After he and Ruby married, one of the things they did was visit as many of the 50 state as they could. In 2017, he fulfilled a life dream and went on a cruise to visit Mexico.
John’s presence is truly missed, and his absence will forever leave a hole that can never be refilled.
John’s ashes will be laid to rest at Camp Butler National Cemetery where he will receive military honors in a private comital service.