US Navy

Russell Arthur Zapel

March 21, 1925 ~ May 18, 2020 (age 95)


Russell A. Zapel, 95, of Des Plaines, IL, at rest May 18, 2020.

Beloved son of the late George and Leona (nee Klemp) Zapel; cherished husband of 70 years of the late Helen (nee Bergman) Zapel; loving father of Gary (Rose) Zapel, Kerry (Henry Eakland) Zapel Higuera and Cathy (late Mark)Zapel Hollomon; adoring grandfather of Eric Zapel, Christina (Colin) Zapel McLauchlan, Kaitlin (Roberto) Higuera Jimenez, Sean Higuera and Emily Eakland.

Russ served in the Navy during WWII and would often talk of his military service with great pride.  His duty involved enemy submarine hunting flying onboard a PBM amphibious aircraft.  After the war, he returned to Chicago area where he met and married Helen, went to work for Illinois Bell, and started a family.  He was a long-time resident of Des Plaines IL.  Besides his long career in various jobs at Illinois Bell/AT&T, he is well known for his volunteer work.  He belonged to the VFW and American Legion and was a member of the Shriners where he served as pipe major in the bagpipe band.  He was a long-time volunteer at the Chicago Botanic Garden and was honored as Volunteer of the Year. He was, above all, a loving and devoted husband to Helen, proud father to Gary, Kerry and Cathy and “gold-standard” grandfather to his grandchildren.

In honor of his WWII military service, private burial to occur at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery at a later date. 

The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Auberge of Lake Zurich for the care and companionship they provided to both Russ and Helen.

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