Phil Hodak

KANKAKEE — It is with profound sorrow that the family of Phillip P. Hodak announces his passing. Phillip P. Hodak, of Kankakee, passed away Sunday (May 3, 2020). As he wished, Phil passed away at his home with his loving family by his side, after a year-long struggle with cancer.

He was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, on Aug. 30, 1958, the son of John and Marilyn (Yonke) Hodak, of Kankakee. Phil married Sue Gianotti on July 27, 1979, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Kankakee.

Phil was a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s where he shared his time, talent and treasures. He served many years as a Eucharistic Minister, a sponsor for RCIA and a member of the parish council.

He was a firefighter and paramedic for the City of Kankakee, a career he truly loved. Because of heart issues, his career ended early in 1992.

His new “career” became that of volunteering. He was a basketball coach and athletic director at Sts. Patrick and Teresa Grade School and also coached at the KVPD. Phil was on the steering committee many years for the Bishop McNamara Annual Spring Auction. He most recently served on the Kankakee Firefighters’ Pension Board.

Phil’s health continued to decline until Feb. 27, 2012, when he received a new heart, a gift of life from an unknown donor. His heart team, led by Dr. Alain Heroux of Loyola Hospital, and Dr. Joseph Meisenbach of St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, have been a significant part of his health care throughout the years both before and after the transplant.

He took great joy in teaching his children many practical life lessons and was always there for them when they needed anything. He also taught them and his grandchildren how to swim, fish and play basketball, all things he loved doing.

Surviving are Sue, his wife of 40 years; daughter, Katherine “Katie” (Doug) Bean, of Kankakee; son, John (Sara) Hodak, of Brookfield; and grandchildren, Adelyn and Beau Bean, and Lucas and Ethan Hodak; brothers, Larry (Chris) Hodak, of Chicago, Mark (Paula) Hodak, of Kankakee, Bruce (Paula) Hodak, of Lexington, N.C., and Doug (Katie) Hodak, of Darien. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, extended family, thoughtful and supportive friends and neighbors, and caregivers, Joanne (Gianotti) Farlander and Rosanne Gianotti.

Phil was looking forward to being reunited with his parents; his brother, Daniel; and many loved ones who preceded him.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private family Mass will be celebrated.

Please join the Hodak family beginning at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Kankakee, for a funeral procession. The procession will leave from St. Patrick Catholic Church, Kankakee, and travel to Mount Calvary Cemetery in Kankakee. As per the pandemic restrictions, please remain in your vehicle at all times.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a future date at St. Patrick Catholic Church, along with a celebration of his life with family and friends.

Memorials may be made to St. Patrick’s Church, Kankakee, Bishop McNamara Catholic Schools or Hospice of Kankakee Valley.

Funeral arrangements are by Clancy-Gernon-Hertz Funeral Home in Kankakee.

Please sign his online guestbook at

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