Deacon Kenneth E. Jenney Jr., 70, died April 8 following a long illness. He was 70.
Deacon Jenney ministered at St. Monica and Immaculate Heart of Mary parishes.
In 2009, he received the St. Philip Award for outstanding ministry in evangelization.
He was an Active 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
He is survived by his children Jean Balatsos; Susan Thomas; and Douglas, Kenneth and Timothy; six grandchildren, and his brothers, Stephen, Howard and Ralph Jenney.
Deacon John James Leonas, 91, died April 7 in Bloomingdale, Illinois, following a long illness.
Deacon Leonas grew up in Chicago and served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in World War II.
He spent most of his life in East Hazel Crest and Manteno, Illinois. He was ordained a deacon in 1979 and served at St. Anne, Hazel Crest, and St. Joseph Parish, Manteno. He was active in the Knights of Columbus, chaplain of the East Hazel Crest American Legion and a lifetime member of the V.F.W.
He retired from Northrup Grumman as a contract administrator heavily involved in the stealth bomber program. As a sergeant in the Army, John learned to play the drums and with his brothers-in-law formed the band Joe Fazio and his Men of Notes playing throughout the South suburbs of Chicago.
In addition, John was an Arthur Murray Dance instructor and at many events he and his wife, Mary, glided across many a dance floor.
He is survived by Mary, his wife of 68 years, daughters Carol Nicolai, Linda Amrein, Kathy Brandau and Debra Dean and son Jeffry Leonas, as well as nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Deacon Carl Olson, 91, recently of Wheeling, died March 30. He was ordained in 1978 and served at St. Cornelius Parish for 34 years.
Born in Idaho, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Marguerite, daughters Mary Olson, Patricia Desire and Christine Krzystofczyk and sons John and Paul Olson, as well as eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Deacon Ignacio Ortega, 86, died March 28. He was ordained in 1991 and served at St. Mark Parish.
Deacon Ortega immigrated from Mexico in 1964, and he and his late wife, Estella, helped many others come to Chicago from Mexico, including putting people up in their home.
As a deacon, he served at Casa Central and St. Mark’s food pantry, and helped start eucharistic adoration at the parish more than 12 years ago.
Ortega, who was one of six children, had two sins, nine grandchildren, 15 greatgrandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Deacon Gilberto Mercado, 74, died March 27.
Ordained in 1985, Deacon Mercado ministered at St. Anthony, Cicero. He was involved in pre-baptism classes, assisted at Mass, performed wakes and house blessings.
He is survived by his wife Martha; his children Martha Mercado-Rios, Salomon Mercado, Angel Mercado, Beatrice Martinez and Yemina Hernandez; and 10 grandchildren.
Deacon Jaime Juarez, 85, died March 25. He was ordained in 1974.
Deacon Juarez had served at St. Benedict Parish in Chicago. He lived in Schaumburg when he died. He is survived by his wife, Carmen. He also was a father and grandfather.
Mercy Sister Paulina Small, 89, died March 22 in Chicago.
Born in Chicago, she was educated by the Sisters of Mercy, first at Little Flower School and then Mercy High School. She entered the community in 1945.
She taught at Little Flower (1948-1949); Our Lady of Mount Carmel (1949-1956); St. Joan of Arc, Evanston (1956-1958); St. Joseph the Worker, Wheeling (1961-1962); and St. Thomas Aquinas (1968-1970), as well at schools in the Diocese of Rockford and in Wisconsin.
In 1977, she began ministering in health care, working for 22 years, she was a discharge planner and clerk at Mercy Hospital Chicago.