After a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease, Whitey Hacker, aged 81, passed away peacefully at Clairidge House Nursing Home in Kenosha, WI, on December 20, 2018 with his wife, Liz, by his side.
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Whitey was born in Waukegan, IL, on June 29, 1937, the first of four children born to Elmer and Emily Hacker of North Chicago, IL. He attended North Chicago schools and after attending his Freshman year at Waukegan Twp. High School, graduated from North Chicago High School in 1955.
Whitey joined the US Air Force in 1955, serving in the Strategic Air Command as a hydraulic mechanic and in-line fueling specialist for B52 bombers, stationed at Loring AFB in Limestone, Maine.
Honorably discharged in 1959, he returned home to marry his sweetheart, Joan Merlock, on May 28, 1960. Together, Whitey and Joan had three children, Katherine Marie, Jeffery Alan and Donald James Hacker. They later divorced but remained friends.
He had an engineering mind and worked as a machinist, draftsman and mechanical engineer before finding the job he really loved, driving trucks and hauling lowboy trailers for Skokie Valley Asphalt in Waukegan. He retired in 1998 but remained a “gearhead” for the rest of his life.
In 1980, Whitey met his current wife, Liz (Patty) Idstrom. They were very happy together for almost 39 years, at one time maintaining a home in Holiday, FL, as well as Wadsworth, IL.
In 1998, they moved back north to Pleasant Prairie, WI, to a home in which Liz still resides.
Whitey leaves behind his wife, Liz (Patty), daughter, Kathy (Sal) Guadagna of Palatine, IL, son, Don (Patti) Hacker of Salem, WI, two sisters, Paula Mercer and Judy Grubbs, both of Waukegan, IL., three grandchildren, Jade Ash, Ryan Hacker and Tracilynn Hacker. Whitey was also blessed with six great grandchildren and many wonderful nieces and nephews. Also surviving is his best friend, Bob Mitchell, of Riverside, CA, along with many other good friends, including his brother-in-law, Mike (Jennifer Idstrom) Frisby of Twin Lakes, WI.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Emily Hacker, his former wife, Joan Hacker, his eldest son Jeff Hacker and his brother, Jerry (Red) Hacker.
Whitey was the last man standing of the old Hacker/Burton gang of North Chicago, who were legendary in ways good and sometimes a bit dodgy.
A visitation for Whitey will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Proko Funeral Home, 5111-60th Street, Kenosha, WI. With a short memorial service at 3:30 p.m. where refreshments and many good memories will be served.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff of Clairidge House Nursing Home in Kenosha, WI and the Hospice Alliance who all cared for Whitey for the past 6 ½ years. They are all loved and appreciated beyond measure.
His wife, Liz, would like to say to all who are grieving the loss of this wonderful man, to remember always that you cannot lose what you love. Whitey rests in God. Namaste.
Proko Funeral Home & Crematory
Kenosha, WI 53144
Phone: (262) 654-3533
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