Joseph A. Drapa, 72, of Streator passed away peacefully with family by his side on Monday, March 25, 2019 at O.S.F. Center for Health-Streator.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Michael the Archangel Church, Streator. Msgr. Philip Halfacre will officiate.
Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m. Thursday at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home in Streator, with burial to follow at St. Casimir’s Cemetery.
Born December 24, 1946 in Chocznia, Poland, Joe was the eldest son of Edward and Sophia (Plonka) Drapa. He was confirmed by then-Bishop Karol Wojtyla, who later was named Saint Pope John Paul II. He married Maria Paterak on July 29, 1972 in Chocznia.
Joe first came to the United States in 1962, when he and his father left Europe on a steamship, hoping to find a better life. He started working at Rudy’s Market (later Thrif-T-Mart and Food Expo) in Streator as a bagger and stock boy, and eventually worked his way up to manager. He later worked at Oogies restaurant and Streator High School until his retirement.
Joe loved his family, being outdoors, fixing things around the house, taking photos, driving through the country, and traveling throughout the U.S. and to his home country of Poland.
He is survived by his wife, Maria Drapa of Streator; two sons, Joe (Megan) Drapa of Omaha, Nebraska, and Mark (Bree) Drapa of Westford, Vermont; eight grandchildren, Frania, Maura, Addie, Gabriella, Macallan, Molly, Max and Maisy Drapa; a brother, John (Kathy) Drapa of Streator; a sister, Theresa (Charles) Westlund of Villa Hills, Kentucky; numerous nieces and nephews; and family in Poland. He was preceded in death by his parents.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, St. Michael the Archangel Church and St. Michael the Archangel School in Streator.
Condolences can be made to the family at www.solontelford.com