John Francis Patroff was born June 19, 1920 in Peoria, Illinois to Frank and Anna (Kouss) Patroff. He passed away December 8, 2014 at Ellett Memorial Hospital, Appleton City, MO at 94 years, 5 months and 18 days of age.
John grew up in Peoria, Illinois with six siblings. From 1942 to 1944 John honorably served his country during WWII. He was a cook in the Aleutian Islands.
On December 9, 1944 John married the love of his life, Elaine M. Lyman. To this union 4 children were born, Mary Sue, John, Frank and Kathy.
John worked most of his life as a cook or baker. He opened Patroff’s Bakery in 1959 in Bartonville, IL, then moved the bakery to east Peoria, IL. John and Elaine made many beautiful wedding cakes and taught their children their love of baking. In 1968 the bakery closed and he went to work for St. Francis Hospital, along with several part time jobs at other small private bakery’s. He worked in the bakery department for several years until they closed the department and John became head chef. While at St. Francis he baked, cooked and enjoyed playing Santa Claus for the children in the hospital. During this time he became a lifetime member of the Executive Chef’s Association. John retired in 1985. After retiring, he and Elaine moved to Lowry City, MO. John enjoyed retirement with family outings, camping, fishing, school projects with his grandkids and trips back to IL to see family and friends, along with volunteering his time to several organizations.
John served on the St. Clair Co. Senior Center board where he delivered home bound meals, did activities, fund raisers and senior taxes. He was a first responder for St. Clair Co. Fire & Rescue and was on the board of directors. A Board President and Board member of the St. Clair Co. Library. He was also a volunteer firefighter at Lowry City Fire Department and served as a city council member for Lowry City. After all this he occasionally found time to bake those delicious coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls and fruit cakes many of us have enjoyed.
The last few years he enjoyed life living with his son Frank and their dog, PJ, just sitting on the porch watching the world go by. His greatest accomplishments in life were his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and his faith in God.
John was preceded in death by his parents, 4 sisters and one brother, his wife Elaine in 2001, son John in 2006 and grandson Todd in 1993. He is survived by his three children, Mary Sue Schwartz and husband Lloyd, Washington, IL, Frank L. Patroff, Lowry City, Kathryn M Lee and husband Bob, Lowry City, MO, nine grandchildren, John (Dee), Paulette (Randy), Chad, Russell (Kim), Bridgit, Robert (Jessica), Jeffery (Kelley), Michael, and Sarah; 17 great grandchildren, one sister, Elizabeth Crammond, many nieces, nephews friends and extended family.