Date of Birth
Date of Death
Frank M. Petit, age 97, of Virgil, passed away peacefully and into the arms of his Savior, Saturday, July 2, 2016 at Brighton Gardens in St. Charles, where he had made his home.
He was born on the family farm in Virgil on October 6, 1918, the son of Michael John and Elizabeth Katherine (Feltes) Petit.
Frank attended S.S. Peter & Paul Schools and graduated from Marmion Military Academy in 1937. Frank worked as a machinist for several years before coming back to his wifeâ€™s family farm and tenderly tended to the animals and fields until his sunset years.
Frank married his high school sweetheart and the “prettiest girl at the dance” who just happened to be his prom date, Helen Sauber. They walked down the aisle on October 11, 1941 at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church and (after three days of celebration at the Sauber Farm) made their home in Aurora for a short time before Frank answered the call of his country. While Frank served as a Corporal T4 in the 4171 Quartermaster Corp. of the United States Army, Helen went back to her familyâ€™s farm to live with her parents and two small children. While apart, Frank and Helen wrote to each other daily, (some letters were more “racy” than others!)
Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Frank returned to civilian life, his wife and growing family at the Sauber family farm. In the years that followed, they made their home in several places, but never far from Virgil. A fire in 1952 led them home to the family farm where they continued to raise a family that would include eight children.
Frank was a lifelong and faithful member of S.S. Peter & Paul where even as a young child, he walked several miles through family fields to serve mass. He continued his devotion until his marriage. Frank was also a proud member and past commander of the Maple Park American Legion, Post 312, as well as the Kane County Farm Bureau.
The time in the service profoundly affected Frank. The years spent in the company of his fellow soldiers culminated in an Honor Flight on his birthday in 2010, a day he numbers as one of the best in his life. His life-long friendship with Bud was celebrated each Veterans Day, when they would dine with other members of the family in the military, at Chiliâ€™s in St. Charles. Just this year, The Daily Herald met with both Frank and Bud, and wrote a wonderful story chronicling their time in the service and 71 years of friendship. Frankâ€™s faith was his bedrock and would be reinforced by his visit to Hiroshima, Japan, two months after the bombing. He was taken ashore because he was tasked to take pictures of the places and people me met. One of those people was a Jesuit Priest, Fr. Arrupe S.J. and was one of many whose church was decimated by the bomb but left them unscathed. He was a kind and gentle man, especially later in life when he never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything. He was loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather and would light up whenever they would put a new grandchild or great-grandchild in his lap for the first time.
He is survived by seven children: Steve (Lan An) Petit, Leon (Colette) Petit, Alan (Sandy) Petit, Jane Petit, Joan (Ed) Kramer, Michael (Jennifer) Petit, Dianne (Jeff) Zedonis; 18 grandchildren: Andrew Petit, Joe Petit, Allie Petit, Jason Petit, Lindsey Petit, Brian Petit, Sarah (Chris) Hlusak, Nicholas (Kim) Petit, Tracy (Tom) Carlson, Nicole (Paul) Marchese, Kristin Kramer, Lisa (Steve) Korney, Jeff (Sara) Kramer, Kevin (Megan) Kramer, Jack Petit, George Petit, Samuel Petit, Christine Zedonis; 18 great-grandchildren; One brother, Peter Petit; many nieces, nephews and too many cousins to count as well as a community of friends, especially “brother-in -arms” Bud Altenburg and dear friend, Fr. Joe Lutz who will all miss him dearly.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Michael John and Elizabeth; wife Helen Petit; one son, David Joseph Petit and eleven siblings: Regina Petit, Michael John Petit Jr. and Michael John Petit III, Louise Zang; Carl Petit, Fr. Clement Petit, Julia Dinges, Herman Petit, Sister Donna Petit O.S.F., Lorraine Miller and Sister Marie Petit O.S. F.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Frankâ€™s name for Masses as well as Harbor Light Hospice. Checks may be made to the “Frank Petit Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address, on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook page or at www.conleycare.com.
The family would like to send a special thank you to Brighton Gardens in St. Charles, where their father was known as “Frankie” and was beloved by not only the fellow residents, but all of the staff as well.
Additional visitation will be from 10-10:45 a.m. at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Virgil, followed by a mass to celebrate his life to begin at 11 a.m., also at the church, Wednesday, July 6, 2016.Fr. David Peck, pastor of St. John Newmann Catholic Church in St. Charles and Fr. Joe Lutz, a good friend of Franks, will concelebrate mass. Frankâ€™s nephew, Deacon Tom Petit will give the homily.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., with a wake service to follow at 8 p.m. , Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119.
Interment will follow at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Cemetery.