Photo: Albert John Pilch of Morris  1926 - 2022

Albert John Pilch, 96, passed away peacefully on October 7, 2022 at the Morris Hospital with his children at his side. Albert was born on January 5, 1926 in Chicago, IL. He was the oldest of 6 children born to Andrew and Marie (Scharzetz) Pilch.

He attended Chicago Schools graduating from Lane Tech in 1944. He was drafted and proudly served in the Army Air Core in WWII as a Sargent from 1944-1946. He was stationed on UMNAK Island in Alaska as a radio mechanic for ALS Systems. After WW II he worked as a machinist for Rockwell Engineering for 2 years. He attended the University of Illinois and graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture in 1952 and Master Degree in Horticulture in 1974. He began working for the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of IL. He was an Assistant Youth Advisor for Ford County (52-55). He then moved to Ottawa where he became the Assistant Extension Advisor for LaSalle County (56-61). He moved his family to Morris in 1961 to become the Senior III Extension Advisor for Grundy Co. He retired after more than 40 years of dedicated served to the Extension Service. He loved his work with the 4-H children and leaders, running the 4-H Fair, serving on the Board for Camp Shaw-waw-nas-see, coordinating the Corn and Flower Show for the Corn Festival and working with farmers all over the county. He enjoyed teaching landscaping classes and planting test plots of corn or soybeans throughout the county.

Albert married Dorothy Alberta Herman, the love of his life November 21, 1953 in Verona, IL. They were married for 66 loving years. Al and Dorothy were blessed with four children. He loved to golf, garden, play cards and games, fish, exercise, and travel throughout the U.S. He loved to attend his grandchildren’s sports activities and programs. Family get together were his favorite. A highlight in his later years was going to Washington, D.C. on the Honor Flight.

Albert was an active member of the community. He was a member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Morris where he served as a trustee for many years and faithful usher for over 50 years. He was a member of Rotary for over 35 years. Serving as President for 2 and secretary for 20. He served on the Grundy Co. Housing Board for 40 years, 8 as President. He headed the United Way in Grundy Co. for 40 years. Serving as President for 12 years and secretary for 20 years. He was instrumental in securing funding for Grundy Co. Hospice. He served on the Evergreen Cemetery Ass. for 23 years. Serving as President for 12 years and Secretary for 10. He was a member of the Farm Bureau, American legion, Epsilon Sigma Phi-Alpha Nu Chapter of Extension Professional’s Organization.

Albert is survived by his children: Laura (Douglas) Holman, Denise (Randy) Hauge and sons: Jay (Ann) Pilch and Allen Pilch all of Morris. 10 grandchildren: Nathan (Elizabeth) Holman, Drew Holman, Joshua (Jen) Holman, Katie (Michael) Bernier, Brian Hauge, Emily and Natalie Pilch, Shelby, McKenzie and Maddi Pilch, 5 great grandchildren: Wyatt and Emilia Holman, Kinley Bernier, Cheyenne and Hunter Holman.

He is survived by his brothers George (Joyce) Pilch of GA and Donald Pilch of CA. Brother-in-laws Walter (Darelene) Buchwald of IL and John McDonald of GA, sister-in-law, Phyllis Pilch of IL, Alice Vandehyden and Delores Herman of Morris. Also numerous loving nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his loving wife Dorothy in 2019, his parents, 2 sisters Mildred McDonald, Betty Buchwald and a brother Frank Pilch. 3 brothers-in-law’s Earl Herman, Willis Herman and Dale Herman.

Memorials can be made to the Grundy County 4-H, Bethlehem Lutheran Church Building Fund or Grundy County Hospice.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday October 12, 2022 at 10:30 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church with Pastor Lohse officiating. Visitation will be held Tuesday October 11, 2022 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church from 4-7 pm. Interment will follow Wednesday at Evergreen Cemetery. The Morris Color Guard will provide Military Honor.

Fruland Funeral Home, 121 W. Jefferson St. in Morris, is in charge of arrangements. For more information call the Funeral Home at 815-942-0700 or sign the online guestbook at www.frulandfuneralhome.com