John M. Persic Sr.

WILMINGTON—John M. Persic Sr., 79, of Wilmington, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, June 1, 2017 at his home.
Born Feb. 20, 1938 in Cicero, IL, John Michael was a son of John Franklyn and Sylvia Marie (Bily) Persic. He was raised and educated in Cicero, and went on to attend Morton College. On Jan. 31, 1959, John married Barbara Jean Sahlin, and together they moved to Wilmington in 1960, where they made their home and raised their family. John initially worked for the United States Postal Service before gaining employment with Caterpillar Tractor Company in Joliet, from where he retired in 1993, after 30 years of service.
John was a member of St. Rose Catholic Church in Wilmington, where he was active with the Fr. George Kuzma Council Knights of Columbus. He belonged to the Wilmington Lions Club, the Wilmington Area Historical Society, and was a charter member of the Wilmington Moose Lodge #241. John was involved with Scouting for more than 50 years; umped baseball, and was the founding father of the Spook Hike in 1976.
An avid fan of the Chicago Cubs, John was ecstatic to witness the Cubs claim the 2016 World Championship. He enjoyed fishing, gardening and metal detecting. John loved his computers, and was proud of his expansive library of music. He took pleasure in cooking and could often be found participating in many of the local chili cook-offs. Fondly known to his grandkids as “Papa in the Forest,” John cherished time spent with this family.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Barbara; four children: John M. Persic,Jr. (Carol Hilgendorf) of Wilmington, Larry (Wenona) Persic of Campus, Dawn Davis (Rob Riley) of Limestone Township and Rick (Sandra) Persic of Gainesville, GA; nine grandchildren: John M. Persic III, Amanda Persic, Brittany Persic, Natasha (Chris) Sassenger, Charisse (Jeremy) Sancken, Kellie (Mark) Adams, Erin Davis, Molly Davis and Alex Frake; 10 great-grandchildren: Paige, Taylor, Colin, Ethan, Isabella, Carter, Henry, Charlotte, Owynn and Ameliah; three nieces, Barb Reincke, Elizabeth Anderson and Kim Sahlin and one nephew, Kirt Sahlin.
John was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Barb Havrlant and one niece, Ann Andersen.
Visitation and video tribute will be held Monday, June 5, 2017 from 1 p.m. until time of funeral service at 4 p.m. at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 E. Kahler Rd. in Wilmington.
In the spirit of John’s tremendous love of the Cubs, those able to attend the services are asked to wear their favorite Chicago Cub’s attire.
Burial will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Wilmington.
Pallbearers will be: John Persic Jr., Larry Persic, Rick Persic, John Persic III, Jeremy Sancken and Chris Sassenger.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in John’s memory to the Wilmington Area Historical Society, the Wilmington Lions Club or to St. Rose Catholic Church.
Family and friends may sign the guest book, upload photographs or share John’s memorial page online by logging onto
Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington.