Joseph D. Hirkala, 94, of Streator passed away Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Care, Streator.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 A.M. Monday at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home, Streator. Msgr. Philip Halfacre will officiate.
Visitation will be from 9:30 A.M until 11:00 A.M. Monday at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home, Streator.
Burial will be in Hillcrest Memorial Park, Streator. Pallbearers will be grandsons, Josh and Seth Besowshek; and Joe Hirkala; grand-sons in law, Josh Farrell, Michael Jennings and Daniel Wiley. Honorary pallbearers will be Clayton and Bill Englert; David Jackson and Randy Lene. Full military rites will be accorded by members of the Leslie G. Woods American Legion Post 217 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1492.
Born May 3, 1926 in Budd, Illinois he was the son of John and Suzanna (Yuskov) Hirkala. He married Doris Sornberger on August 28, 1948 at St. Stephen’s Church, Streator.
He is survived by his wife, Doris Hirkala of Streator; daughters, Carol (Bill) Englert of Streator, Cyndi (Randy) Lene of LaPlata, Missouri and Sandy (David) Jackson of Hanceville, Alabama; a son, Jim (Ada) Hirkala of Streator; grandchildren, Marie (Josh) Farrell of Streator, Alanna Jo Englert of Ottawa, Ashley (Brent Anderson) Hirkala of Streator, Joe Hirkala of Varna, Josh (Dawn Jackson) Besowshek of LaPlata, Missouri, Seth (Jen) Besowshek of Lake St. Louis, Missouri, Abbie (Michael) Jennings of LaPlata, Missouri, Desiree (Daniel) Wiley of Cullman, Alabama and Shannon (Brett McDonald) Nichols of Hanceville, Alabama; 21 great grandchildren; 1 great-great granddaughter; a sister, Ann Reed of Streator; and a brother, George (Dorothy) Hirkala of Streator.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandchildren, Kirk Englert, Luke Englert, Miranda Englert and Crisandra Englert in infancy; a brother, John Hirkala; and brothers in law, Arthur Sornberger, Frank Reed and John Majernik.
Raised in the Streator area he attended Sunbury Grade School and St. Stephen’s Grade School.
At the age of 17 he enlisted in the United States Navy and served during WWII in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres of Operation. He was very proud of his service to his country. In 2017 he participated in the Greater Peoria area Honor Flight sponsored and accompanied by his grandson Seth. Joe as well as his family were proud and honored to be a part of such history as well as recognition.
He worked through the years for Anthony Company and Owens Illinois Glass Company until taking over his father in law’s rural postal delivery route. He later worked for Transco from where he retired.
Joe and his wife as well as family and friends enjoyed many years of fishing, swimming and making memories at their cabin along the Vermillion River.
He loved his daily walks with his two good buddies, Don Gordon and Wendy Howe. He also loved spending time with and shooting the breeze with his best friend Joe Fricano.
Joe was a loving husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by his family.
Memorials may be directed to the greater Peoria area Honor Flight.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.solontelford.com
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