Weslaco/ Wilmington, Il - Gerald Cantu, 77, passed away after a three year battle with cancer on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 at McAllen Medical Center. He was born on June 21, 1941, to John Cantu and Julia Kubos Cantu in Joliet, Illinois.
Gerald spent most of his life in Joliet where he graduated from Joliet Township Highschool. He joined the US Airforce shortly after high school and served four years. After being honorably discharged, Gerald became a mechanic welder. He worked for Ford Motors a short while, but his career was spent at Com Ed, Commonwealth Edison Company, which was one of the largest privately held power companies in Illinois. He raised his four children in Joliet and retired in 1995.
He met and married his wife Diane prior to his retirement and they were able to enjoy their RV and traveled all over the United States. They began spending winters in the Rio Grande Valley in 2002 and settled in Weslaco for the winters in 2004.
Gerald was a collector and his favorite treasures were scales. He collected over 300 during his lifetime and could weigh just about anything you could think of. He loved to go fishing with his children as they were growing up and throughout his life. He also became an excellent craftsman during and enjoyed woodworking all of his life. He had the tools to do or fix almost anything, and he did that often.
He will mostly be remembered by his jolly personality and his love of Christmas and playing Santa Claus. Gerald had a generous heart and looked forward to donating his time each year for most of his adult life. He played Santa Claus at many venues, including Leisure World RV Park, numerous McAllen area charities including Mujeres Unidas, and all over Illinois. He loved to see the smiles on the children's faces and he had the perfect personality for the job.
Gerald is preceded in death by his parents, John and Julia Cantu and his sister, Mary Wiegman.
He is survived by his loving wife, Phyllis Diane, children, Christine Forkal (Richard), Tom Cantu (Irma), Mary Beth Engelman (Tim), Gregory Cantu (Jennifer), all of Joliet, Il, step-children, Tracy Denton (Tenley) of Channahon, Il, Shirley Acree (Troy) of Louisville, Il, Tina Kilgore of Germany, grandchildren, Jon (Darcy), Jacqueline, and Jessica Forkal, Anthony, Reed, Gwendelyn, and Olivia Cantu, Travis (Ali), Genevive, and Gavin Denton, Keagan(Aimee),Kae Lynn, Shawn(Allison) and Shane(Jaycie) Acree, Levi and Michael Loving, great-grandchildren, Beckett, Tucker, Quinn, Leo, Tyler Jane, and brother, John Cantu (Vonna) of Joliet, Il, and his two beloved pets, who he adored, labradoodle, Rosie and cat, Sally.
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