June 18, 1940 - April 24, 2021
Michael Joseph Jontry, age 80, beloved husband, father and grandfather died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on April 24th, 2021. He is survived by his wife Carol (Peluso) Jontry, daughter Jean (John) French and sons John (Yasmeen) Jontry, James (Yvonne) Jontry, and Jerome (Amy) Jontry, his grandchildren Elijah Jontry, Jenna French, Clarissa 'Reese' Jontry, Paige Jontry, and Emily Jontry, as well as his sister Margaret 'Peggy' Andel of Oconomowoc, WI . He was preceded in death by his mother and father John and Isabella Jontry. Michael was born June 18, 1940 in Bloomington, IL to John and Isabella (Hansen) Jontry. He was raised in Chenoa, IL where he first developed a love for machinery, especially trains and agricultural equipment, and after graduating from Chenoa H.S. in 1958, served his country by joining the United States Navy. He earned his engineering degree from the US Naval Academy, graduating in 1964. Michael achieved the rank of Lieutenant and received the Purple Heart during his service in Vietnam and continued service in civilian life through membership in the VFW and DAV organizations. After meeting on a blind date and driving back and forth between San Diego and Phoenix while dating, he married Carol (Peluso) in Phoenix, AZ on November 26, 1965. They enjoyed life as a Navy family being stationed in San Diego, CA and Cutler T Naval Station in Cutler, ME until separating from the service in 1973. Upon leaving the service they settled in the Decatur, IL area where they raised their family. Michael enjoyed gardening, fixing machinery and working the land. He also loved attending sporting events and watching his kids play football, wrestle or participate in other school events. While reviewing game tapes, his voice could be frequently heard yelling and encouraging the team. He instilled a value for education and provided a college education for all four kids. His natural curiosity of the world, enthusiasm for tackling tough challenges, and tireless work ethic, contributed to a rewarding post-Navy career. As a licensed Professional Engineer, he worked at Decatur Memorial Hospital over 20 years overseeing the engineering department. He actively sought female and minority candidates to work in that department so he could develop a well-represented workforce. At the same time, he completed his MBA at Illinois State University through night classes. He and Carol were owners of Matthews Engraving for over 30 years providing engraving services, trophies and plaques to industrial clients worldwide. Following his time at DMH, Michael joined the Decatur Water District, and later the Illinois Dept of Public Health where he did life and health safety inspections providing a safe environment for his community and coworkers. Michael brought this experience to professional organizations including ASHRAE and NFPA. After retiring, Michael kept busy. He loved working the land and watching the wildlife around him prosper. He loved jazz music and was a member of the Juvae Jazz Society and then Co-President with his wife Carol. He enjoyed participating in Navy reunions with hits crew mates from the USS Polk County. He truly embraced being a grandfather to kids who were blood relatives as well as those he loved like family. One would never know when a package would show up at your door with a surprise for a grandchild. He would buy and restore bicycles and riding toys to donate at local charities in addition to providing ample riding toys to his grandkids. He donated to classrooms on a regular basis to support learning in the public schools. A curious mind that only now has come to rest, Michael read voraciously and cherished thoughtful, honest discussions. His favorite times were spent around the dinner table sharing stories with friends and family. His sense of humor and storytelling were legendary, and he also wrote extensively so as to pass on his wisdom and belief that "you plan for the worst, hope for the best, deal with the reality." Michael lived a full life and leaves behind a legacy of love, joy and accomplishment. Services will be held at 10;00 AM Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Graceland Fairlawn funeral Home. Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Friday at Graceland Fairlawn Funeral Home. Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please donate to Juvae Jazz Society or Decatur House of Prayer. Condolences may be left to Michael’s family at www.gracelandfairlawn.com. Funeral services will be streamed at www.funeralvue.com/login/event#52956.
Michael Joseph Jontry, age 80, beloved husband, father and grandfather died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on April 24th, 2021.  He is survived by his wife Carol (Peluso) Jontry, daughter Jean (John) French and sons John (Yasmeen)... View Obituary & Service Information
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