CATLIN – Michael J. Petersak, 92, well-known Catlin-area farmer, passed away at 11:10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.
Michael was born June 17, 1920, in Williamson County to Michael and Anna Haluska Petersak. He married Eve Valantas on Feb. 9, 1946, in Westville. Eve passed away Sept. 8, 2006.
Survivors include two sons, Mike Petersak of Danville and Tom (Tracie) Petersak of Westville; one daughter, Patty (Jim) Crossetti of Fishers, Ind.; one sister, Elizabeth Creighton of Danville; and four grandchildren, Jennifer, Annie, Tommy and Tanna.
He was preceded in death by one brother, John.
Michael served in the Army from 1941 to 1945 with several tours in Australia, New Guinea, the Dutch East Indies and Biak Island.
As a lifelong farmer in the area, some of his most crowning achievements included being the first local farmer to dry grain on his farm; because of that feat, a group of Japanese agriculture administrators visited his farm in 1961 to inspect his system. Michael also self-manufactured one of the first eight-row planters in his own tool shed.
Michael was also a supervisor at F.L. Jacobs Company. He enjoyed watching Chicago Cubs baseball games, gardening, playing cards and his grandkids activities, as well as visiting with his friends at the coffee shop and traveling the area. Michael especially enjoyed when he could gather all of his family at his home for the holidays, and often said he enjoyed "good times with good people and good food."
He was a member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Westville and the Knights of Columbus.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Robinson Chapel, 103 Douglas St., Catlin, with a Rosary at 3:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 231 N. State St., Westville. Father Timothy Sauppe will officiate. Burial with military honors will be in Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Westville.
Memorials may be sent to Schlarman Academy in care of Robison Chapel. Condolences may be sent at www.robisonchapel.com .