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Eugene "Gene" J. Kuhajek

1934 ~ 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Eugene "Gene" Kuhajek Obituary

Eugene “Gene” James Kuhajek, of Crystal Lake, died peacefully on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at the age of 89.   Born in 1934 to John and Margaret (nee Hajny) Kuhajek, Gene grew up in Cicero, IL.  

Gene earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Loyola University, Chicago, in 1955 and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from University of Minnesota in 1962.   Upon graduating, Gene was immediately recruited by the Morton Salt Research Laboratory in Woodstock.  During a distinguished career of 40 years with the company, he made significant contributions to product development, including coauthoring five U.S. patents.

In April 1970, Gene married his life partner, Margaret “Peggy” (nee Callaghan Kuhajek, whom he met during his time at Morton.  Together, they raised two children.   

Beyond his professional achievements, Gene was an active member of the Crystal Lake community, serving as a coach for the Raiders football and Little League baseball programs, as well as holding the role of Little League President.   He was also involved in the YMCA Indian Guides and Indian Princesses programs.

Gene was a kind, patient, and generous man.  He is survived by his wife, Peggy, of Crystal Lake; daughter, Jeanne Kuhajek, of New Zealand; sisters, Marilyn (Don) Foster and June (Bob) Vanourek; and many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his son, Daniel “Dan” Kuhajek, and his sister, Shirley “Sheri” Wiley.

A memorial for Gene will be held in Crystal Lake later this year with details to be announced.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Gene’s name to Crystal Lake Food Pantry

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