John DeGrave, 87, Bellevue resident, joined his wife Rita, in heaven, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. He was born May 18, 1934, in Forestville to the late Orville and Mary (DeVillers) DeGrave. John married the love of his life on June 26, 1954, at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church. They were married 65 years prior to Rita’s passing on April 9, 2019. He was employed American Can-Northern Paper Mill-James River for 42 years until his retirement in 1995.
John was known for his smile; he was ALWAYS smiling! He enjoyed summers camping in Eagle River, fishing, and hunting trips to Wyoming. John raised rabbits as a hobby and was president of many rabbit clubs. He served as superintendent of the Rabbit/Poultry Barn at the Brown County Fairgrounds. John also had many crafting skills. He would just light up with a huge smile when he was able to spend time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He is survived by his four children: Sandy (Wayne) Salentine; Mike (Lori) DeGrave; Tena (Frank) Stein and Carla (Bob) Oleyniczak; nine grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; brother, Jerry (Pat) DeGrave; brother-in-law, James Delfosse; sister-in-law, Bev Delfosse; many nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents and wife, John was preceded by his sister, Ceil (Arnie) Tassoul and brother, Richard De Grave; Godson, Ricky as well as numerous in-laws.
Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St. from 1:30-4:30 pm on Sunday, March 27. The visitation will close at 4:30 with a parish wake service. Visitation will continue on Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, E 860 Hwy 29, Pilsen, from 9:30–10:45 am. Funeral Mass 11:00 am Monday at the church with Rev. Dennis Drury officiating and Christal Wavrunek assisting. Entombment in the Shrine of the Good Shepard Mausoleum. Online condolences may be sent to the DeGrave family at www.prokowall.com.
John’s family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Fr. Dennis and the nurses and staff at Aurora Baycare.
Dad, you were the best dad anyone could ask for and were always there for us. You wished for us to have more than you had as a child, and we did. We will always love you.