Eugene Robert Leszczynski, (90), of Northlake Illinois, died on April 26, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Esther (nee Kokines), and three children, Andrew, Anthony (Kathy) and Suzanne Battista, and eight grandchildren: James, Michael, Ellen and Anna Leszczynski, Alexander and Erik Leszczynski, and Anthony and Alaina Battista. Gene was preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters.
Gene was born in Chicago to John and Lillian Leszczynski. He lost his father at a young age. He grew up surrounded by the love of his mother, his older brothers, John and Walter. and older sisters, Dolores and Virginia. He graduated from Wells High School where he was a member of JROTC and Sea Scouts. He later attended Wright Jr College in Chicago, IL.
In his late teens and early twenties, he developed his gift for singing and entertaining audiences. He performed in Chicago area venues and appeared in a local variety show. After being drafted into the Army in 1951, he served in France and Germany. He earned the American Defense Ribbon and Army of Occupation Medal. While serving in France, Gene won a “Singing Soldiers” contest. An Army major in the audience was so taken by Gene’s emotional delivery of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Tony Bennett that he requested that Gene join the US Special Services. Gene was honored and joined the Special Services stationed in Mannheim German. He traveled to USO facilities and towns throughout France and Germany performing as the lead singer supported by the special services band.
In 1958, he and Esther married and started a family, complete with Andrew, Anthony and Suzanne. Being a kind and dependable father was important to Gene and he certainly did not disappoint when it came to making sacrifices required to love and support his family. His whole family remembers the epic road trip vacations on which Gene drove across the country to visit family and see the sights. His nieces and nephews fondly remember their “Uncle Bubbles”. Gene worked as a service technician at AT&T for over 30 years.
A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m., May 10th at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 46 N Wolf Rd, Northlake, IL 60164 Northlake, IL, followed by a private burial at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood IL. His family will be present to welcome loved ones at the church. No visitation is scheduled. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date when family members are healthy enough to travel and it is safe to gather as a group and honor this great man.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, please send memorial donations to the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines IL, in recognition of the thoughtful care they provided for Gene Leszczynski.
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