Date of Birth
Date of Death
NAME Frank Anthony Lo Destro,age 88, of Elburn, passed from this life into the next, claiming the promise of his Savior on Sunday, Dec.20, 2009 at his home. BORN: Frank was born Sept. 23, 1921, the son of Luigi and Michelina Mistrata Lo Destro who both emigrated to Chicago from the small village of Vallelunga, Sicily. EARLY YEARS:Frank grew up in Chicago and attended local schools but left to work with the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in Colorado, not telling them he was too young to go. Back home, at the young age of 15, he helped support his family of nine by delivering ice and other jobs. MILITARY: Frank faithfully and honorably served his country as a United States Marine after signing up the morning after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was one of the "last seven boots" assigned to the First Marine Division." Frank saw action in the first offensive against the Japanese at Guadalcanal and Tulagi. His tour of duty also included New Guinea where he was under aerial bombardment, Cape Gloucester and Talasee where he contributed to their capture and defense, and Pelileu in the South Pacific where he was a key soldier in its assault and capture. He was honorably discharged from the Marines in October 1945. MARRIAGE: Later he worked for Chicago Daily News as a truck route driver across northern Illinois when he met the love of his life. Frank knew Erminia "Jean" Panozzo from his delivery route but saw her again on the front page of the rival paper, the Chicago Sun Times, in a publicity photo taken with her posed in an Egyptian Tub on display at the Field Museum. Frank visited the reporter and not only picked up over twenty copies of the paper but the original photo as well and hand delivered them all to her door. Frank won Jean’s heart and never let go as they were united in marriage on Dec. 2, 1950. RESIDENTIAL HISTORY: They began their new life together with her parents in Dolton, IL. Over the years Frank and Jean lived in many places such as Schiller Park, Dolton, Berkley and Hillside before settling in West Chicago. In 2000, Jean passed away and Frank moved to Elburn. OCCUPATION / WORK HISTORY:After selling building materials to other companies, Frank opened Christ Building Materials in Schaumburg and owned it for many years. He also owned additional businesses over the years but eventually returned to his roots as a delivery driver and general laborer before retiring in his early eighties. MEMBERSHIPS: Frank was a proud lifelong member of the West Chicago American Legion, Post 300. Prior to becoming a member of St. Gall Catholic Church, Elburn, he had been a long-time parishioner of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West Chicago. LIFE NOTES: God, his wife and family were the center of Frank’s life. He was a gracious man and generous friend to many. He enjoyed sharing stories of his life experiences with his grandchildren, friends and acquaintances. His laugh and smile were infectious as was his ability to make all those around him feel valued. He adored his wife and upon her death had a nine-foot granite statue of Mary erected in her honor overlooking the grave site. SURVIVORS: He now leaves his three children: Frank (Hope) Lo Destro of Westerville, OH, Peter (Cheri) Lo Destro of Yorkville, IL and Michele (Roderick) Kelly of Aurora, IL; Twelve Grandchildren: Tricia Lo Destro, Paula (Dennis) Paben, Julie Lo Destro, Bonnie Lo Destro, Brent (Natalia) Lo Destro, Sonya Lo Destro, Grant Lo Destro, Chana Lo Destro, Brina Lo Destro, Katherine Kelly, Patrick Kelly and Peter Kelly;One great granddaughter Samantha Paben; Two siblings: Carmelita Blanche and Johnny Capizzi; Many nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends who will miss him dearly. PRECEDED:He now joins his parents, wife, and five sisters who preceded him in death. VISITATION / FUNERAL Visitation will be from 5-8p.m., Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A mass to celebrate his life will be held Wednesday, December 23, at St. Gall Catholic Church, at 10:30 a.m. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of the church, will officiate and interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery, Geneva, IL. MEMORIAL A memorial in his name will be established for education scholarships to symbolize his belief in education and a strong work ethic. Checks may be made to the "Frank Lo Destro Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.
Visitation will be from 5-8p.m., Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A mass to celebrate his life will be held Wednesday, December 23, at St. Gall Catholic Church, at 10:30 a.m. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of the church, will officiate.
Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery, Geneva, IL.