MANTENO — John S. Atkinson III, 63, of Manteno, passed away Thursday (June 11, 2020) at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, with his daughters at his side, following a short illness.
He was born June 5, 1957, in Kankakee, the son of Leona Mae Deschand and John S. Atkinson Jr. Better known to most as “Jack,” he was the baby in a family of five. They were a military family in Bradley, raised in a loving home full of music, laughter, discipline and family.
Jack spent his youth running the neighborhood with friends, playing football and getting in trouble with the nuns at school. His love for sports, especially football, carried throughout his life. Jack was an avid Detroit Lions and Red Wings fan “ridicule be damned!” the family said. He absolutely loved the challenge of fantasy football and the friendships that developed from the leagues he was involved in.
Jack started his adult career at Henkel back in the ‘80s and from there transitioned to Stepan Company in Joliet. He was a chemical manufacturing operator for 30 years when he switched gears and entered the gambling and gaming business as a technician for Accel Entertainment.
He didn’t have any sons but that didn’t stop him from sharing what he loved with his girls. He taught and even coached his girls in youth softball, brought them to football games in Michigan, and even how to fish (“that took a lot of patience!” his family said). As he got older, he grew to enjoy the game of golf on his days off or spending time with his extended family at OTR. Jack loved to cook and could feed an army. He especially loved cooking for friends and family and they loved reaping the benefits! Jack shared his passion for great music with his girls when they were growing up, something they will always cherish.
He was extremely proud of his grandchildren and loved watching their sporting events. His loud cheering in the crowd will certainly be missed.
Surviving are his daughters, Kristin (David) Ciarrocchi and Alyssa (Lee) LaMontagne; five adoring grandchildren, Jake, Morgan and Gianna Ciarrocchi, and Madison and Kennedy LaMontagne; two sisters, Judith Sutherland and Cheryl Atkinson; one aunt, Rose Kelly; one nephew, Steven Sutherland; and one special niece, Alana (Gary) Britt, who brought joy and laughter to him until the end. Also surviving are several cousins and special lifelong friends, Dan and Sharon Power.
Preceding him in death were both parents, several uncles, one aunt and one niece.
Cremation rites have been accorded.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.
Funeral arrangements are by Jensen Funeral Home.
The family is setting up a John S. Atkinson III Trust for memorial contributions for his grandchildren’s education. Updates on both the trust and the celebration of life will be available at jensenfuneralhome.com.