Irwin L. Branecki, age 90, passed away on June 7, 2021 with his family at his side. He is survived by his wife, Marylu (Durkin), by his daughters, Mary Stockmal (Peter) and Amy Jones (Robert), and by his six grandchildren Andrew, Matthew, Abby, Michael, Trevor, and Drew.
He was preceded in death by his father, Raymond Branecki, his mother, Irene, and his sister Evelyn.
Irwin was born in Chicago on October 16, 1930. His childhood homes were in Cicero and then Elmwood Park, Illinois. He received his Civil Engineering degree in 1953 from the University of Illinois, and then served his country in the U.S. Army from 1953-1956, deployed to Korea, Japan, and Thailand.
Upon his return, he became a founding partner of Branecki & Virgilio and Associates, in Des Plaines, a successful civil engineering consulting firm. With his partner, he directed the firm for nearly fifty years until he retired in 2001.
Irwin first spotted Marylu sitting on a porch with her girlfriends while driving through Elmwood Park. For nearly 10 years, he proposed every year until in January 1959, on a skiing trip in Colorado, she accepted. The family celebrated “the day she said yes” (and Irwin’s steadfast determination) with a ski trip to Colorado, with dinner at the same restaurant, annually for many years.
Irwin and Marylu were married for just over 60 years. After a few years in Westchester, IL, they made their family home in Barrington, IL, living in the same home for 45 years.
Sailing, travel, skiing, and photography were the passions Irwin shared with his family. Road trips were frequent, with Irwin ensuring his daughters visited all 48 continental states by age 18. He and Marylu traveled to Europe and skied the Alps several times.
A competitive sailor, Irwin raced close to 20 consecutive years out of Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago. He completed the Chicago Mackinac race over 15 times. With an outstanding eye for composition, he captured his time in the Army, his travels, and family in well over 20,000 photos over the course of his life.
Irwin was loyal, sentimental, and a sweetheart to his wife and children. He loved life, he loved his family fiercely, and combined those loves to live a long and full life. He will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him well.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM, Friday, June 11 at Saint Anne Catholic Community, 120 N. Ela Street (Corner of Franklin and Ela Sts.), Barrington. There will be visitation at the church from 9:30 AM until 10:30 AM. Interment to follow at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery, Palatine.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in Irwin’s name. Thank you.
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