Today we’re remembering Terry Jelinek and his commitment to family and community as well as his service in the Naperville Fire Department, the U.S. Navy and beyond.

UPDATE, Dec. 28, 2018 / Since Dec. 23, when the sad news that Terrance “Terry” Jelinek, age 70, had died peacefully that morning after meeting many challenges during recent health issues, the Christmas holidays have been filled with reminders of the lessons learned from the Navy veteran and leader of many Memorial Day Parades in downtown Naperville and Veterans Day Observances in Veterans Park.

For more than 15 years, the lifelong Naperville resident and his kind heart inspired stories and photos featured in Positively Naperville. A search of “Jelinek” on this website (launched in 2012) will show stories and photos saved in PN’s archive.

Terry Jelinek Obituary

Visitation runs from 4PM to 8PM Fri., Dec. 28, at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home,  44 S. Mill Street.

A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 9:30AM Sat., Dec. 29, at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 36 N. Ellsworth.

Our heartfelt condolences go to Sue Jelinek, their three sons— Michael, Patrick and David— and their families.


Original Post, May 19, 2013 / Editor’s Note: Thanks for being especially thoughtful on Memorial Day about our country’s precious freedom and all the fallen heroes, men and women, who have given the supreme sacrifice to protect it.  The Memorial Day Parade will begin along Jackson Ave. at 10:30AM. A special 30-minute observance with musical tributes, brief speeches and a wreath laying also takes place at 12:15PM in Central Park. We are especially disheartened to note that a total of 253 military from Illinois have died since the beginning of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. God bless America, members who serve in the five branches of the armed services and the Gold Star Families.

Special Commentary to PN

By Terrance Jelinek / Commander of the American Legion Post 43 & Past Commander of the Judd Kendall VFW 3873

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Terrance Jelinek

Memorial Day observed on the fourth Monday in May and Veterans Day always on November 11 are two very important days in the hearts of veterans for two entirely different reasons.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, is celebrated every November 11 to mark the signing of the Peace Treaty of the “War that would end all wars,” World War I.  The Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918, proving to be a very happy occasion. The world was once again at peace and millions of soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen from all countries were returning home to their families and loved ones.

Unfortunately, it was not the war to end all wars. So in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Veterans Day is a day in which we thank all veterans for their service. If you were to think of it as a picture, the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square at the end of WWII is a great image.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, the more somber of the two days, is a day that should convey to all Americans the price and pain of the quest for our nation’s freedom. It is a day in which we remember the dead for their service and sacrifice. It doesn’t matter if those who we remember this day died on the battlefield. What is important is that all those who have died have been a part of America’s past and that each one in his or her own way contributed to our American heritage. We recognize that their contributions helped ensure our freedoms.

In America, we have been honoring the dead on Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day) since the end of the Civil War.

General John A. Logan was the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the organization of Union Veterans. He issued the following order in response to a request made by Adjutant General Norton P. Chipman:

“The thirtieth day of May, 1868 was designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this order and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.”

We feel that this order is fitting and proper and are proud to be part of a community/town which continues to mark this observance every year.

The picture of a grave site with a wreath or a flag shows the solemnity of the day. But the veterans who have gone before us want us to celebrate the freedoms that they have helped preserve.

Naperville Municipal Band will perform for Memorial Day beginning Sunday evening

4:30PM Sun., May 26 — 85th Army Band with the Naperville Municipal Band — Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park

10:30AM Mon., May 27 – Memorial Day Parade – Downtown Naperville

12:15PM Mon., May 27 — Memorial Day Concert & Patriotic Tributes — Naperville Community Concert Center in Central Park

Memorial Day 2013 is May 27

Memorial Day 2013 will be observed on Mon., May 27.  In Naperville, the annual Memorial Day Parade steps off at 10:30AM, headed east along Jackson Ave.  to Washington St., north along Washington to Benton Ave. and east toward Ss. Peter and Paul Church.

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At the end of the parade, folks gather in Central Park for a 30-minute observance with music performed by the Naperville Municipal Band and Young Naperville Singers, patriotic tributes and a wreath laying that begins at 12:15PM.