Obituary of Helen Simatovich
Helen Simatovich (94)
Helen Cervac was born August 6, 1928 in North Chicago, Illinois to Mary (Kerpan) and Anthony Cervac. She was raised in Rondout, Illinois (home of the great train robbery!) with four brothers and a sister and often visited her mother’s family farm in Beach Park. Growing up in the Great Depression, Helen and her family learned to live with very little and appreciate the kindness and love of family.
She attended a one-room elementary school in Rondout. After graduating from Libertyville High School she met Anthony Simatovich at a Croatian picnic in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1947. They shared a deep Catholic faith and a Croatian heritage. They married in April 1948 at St. Joseph’s in Libertyville, Illinois and honeymooned at Niagara Falls. Together they made a life in Brookfield, Illinois. Tony worked at General Motors and Helen concentrated on taking care of their family including their two daughters, Linda and Denise. Helen fastidiously maintained their home—cooking, cleaning, and caring for her family including her mother and mother-in-law. Known to her family as Aunt Helen—everyone loved her delicious salad dressing and constantly worked to coax her out of her fear of flying. Still Tony and Helen traveled throughout the country driving to see relatives. She took part in many bowling leagues and her idea of happy hour was another cup of coffee (and she quickly reminded everyone she never had a drink).
Papa and Ama (as she was known to her grandchildren) kept a longstanding tradition of taking the family to downtown Chicago at Christmastime to eat in the Marshall Field’s Walnut Room. She volunteered at St Barbara School and Church—where they were longtime parishioners—for numerous organizations. Eventually she joined La Grange Community Hospital as a Pink Lady volunteer in the gift shop, which led to fulltime employment and a longtime career including in the recovery room. She was known by hospital staff for keeping the cleanest wheelchair and being the first person into work in the morning. She was named employee of the month multiple times. Helen was a longtime member of the Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge 32.
She is proceeded in death by her husband of 57 years, Tony. She is survived by her Uncle Mike Kerpan, sister Anne Cervetti, brother William Cervac, daughter Linda Dolan and grandchildren Kathryn Dolan (Matt Powers) and Matt Dolan (Christina) and daughter Denise DeCock (son-in-law Richard) and grandchildren Amanda DeCock and Adam (Kendal) DeCock. Numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Special thanks to the Primrose Community and Moments Hospice in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Visitation is Friday, February 24, 4-7 pm at McMurrough Funeral Home, Libertyville. A mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, February 25 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Libertyville with a live stream at
with burial to follow at Ascension Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to The Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph, 1515 Ogden Avenue, LaGrange Park, Illinois 60525 or at www.csjoseph.org.
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