George J. Gondzur, 89, of Westville, died at 8:05 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at the Danville Veterans Affairs hospital surrounded by his loving family.
He was born Oct. 30, 1924, in Westville, the son of the late Andrew and Mary Gondzur.
He was a PFC in the Air Force and served from April 14, 1943, until his honorable discharge on Feb. 15, 1946. He was a self-employed carpenter, cabinetmaker and owner of Gondzur’s Cabinet Shop in Westville for many years.
He was a talented trumpet player and member of the local musicians union. As leader of Lu George Orchestra for close to 50 years, his big band music was enjoyed by many throughout central Illinois and Indiana. He also coordinated local talent for the Danville Parks Department Amateur Hours.
George was married to Joan Deknuydt at St. Procopius Catholic Church in Westville on June 18, 1949. She preceded him in death.
He will be dearly missed by his children, Gary (Judy) Gondzur of Houston, Texas, Raymond (Donna) Gondzur of Louisville, Ky., Nancy Gondzur of Madison, Wis., Christopher (Lisa) Gondzur of Westville, James (Pamela) Gondzur of Louisville, Ky., Madonna (Chris) Poggendorf of Westville and Andrew (Anjanette) Gondzur of St Louis, Mo.; and grandchildren, Geoff and Mitchell Gondzur, Nicholas and Lauren Gondzur, Aaron, Ryan and Lynnse Gondzur, Alexander Gondzur, Bailee and Taylor Poggendorf, Meredith, Jesse, Claire and Benjamin Gondzur. He is further survived by great-grandchildren, Lydia, Lani and Gracyn Gondzur. He has one surviving sister-in-law, Lavonne Hart of Westville.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Conover; a grandson, Matthew Caston; and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in law.
George was a community leader in many capacities. He was an elected trustee of Georgetown Township for 20 years. George was an active member of Westville American Legion, Post 51 for 69 years, serving as past commander and also Illinois District 18 commander. He also held various other offices in the American Legion, including adjutant on both the local and district level.