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Tuesday Funeral Mass Set for Gilbert Kato

Long-time Oak Lawn resident and St. Linus parishioner was "backbone of the community."

Gilbert Kato, 1993-2014
Gilbert Kato, 1993-2014

Funeral services for Gilbert Kato will be held Tuesday morning at St. Linus Chicago.

Mr. Kato died at home on April 12, surrounded by his family, after a short illness. He was 80 years old.

He was a 50-year resident of Oak Lawn, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a popular coach of youth sports.

Mr. Kato was born on Sept. 23, 1933 in Chicago Lawndale. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Korean War. After the war, he entered the Illinois Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

While working at Commercial Shearing and Stamping at 5700 W. 65th St., in Chicago, Mr. Kato met the love of his life, Monica Wolf.

The couple married and soon moved to Oak Lawn, where they raised four children. Mr. Kato belonged to St. Linus Church, and was active in the parish. He worked for Phillips Advanced Transformer in Rosemont, until his retirement.

His youngest son, Glen Kato, said his father could repair or build anything, and photos of his fondest projects -- furniture, a swing set, a children’s playhouse, even a box for his service medals -- were on display during his visitation at Thompson-Kuenster on Monday.

Mr. Kato coached girls’ softball and boys’ baseball in Oak Lawn when his children were growing up. Family members fondly recall “the finger of authority,” when he would point and wave his index finger to illustrate a point, or underscore a request to his children, such as, “Are you sure you’re taking care of your mother?”

Mr. Kato was the beloved husband of Monica (nee Wolf), and loving father to Christopher Kato ( Manda ), Margaret Lavin (Ron),  Beth Parker (Lorenzo), and Glen Kato. He leaves six cherished grandchildren Samantha ,Alexis , Kaitlyn, Madeline, Joseph and Kevin.

He was the fond brother-in-law of Ron (April) Wolf, Fred Wolf,  Al ( Lori) Wolf, William ( Karen) Wolf, Margaret (Raul) Patino, and Alice and Edd Sekal. He was a special cousin to Sr. Dolores Kazmicrczak.

The funeral Tuesday is at 10:15 a.m. from Thompson & Kuenster Funeral Home, 5570 W. 95th St., Oak LAwn, to St. Linus Church, 10300 S. Lawler Ave., Oak Lawn, for Mass at 11 a.m.

Interment is at Abraham Lincoln Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project, National Process Center, P.O. Box 758541, Topeka, Kansas 66675.


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