Obituary of David R. Koleske
David Russell Koleske, age 83, of Minooka, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, October 1, 2023, with his loving family by his side.
Born September 10, 1940, in Racine, WI, he was the son of Joseph and Mary (Jilek) Koleske. He married the love of his life, the former Barbara May Gapko on March 29, 1969, and they enjoyed 56 years of marriage. On September 23, 2023 they renewed their marriage vows.
Fondly known as “Dr. Diesel” and “Diesel Dave”, he was the former owner and operator of D & R Diesel, which specialized in the maintenance and repair of large machinery and trucks. During his tenure and retirement, he was a regular fixture at numerous shops and businesses including I-55 Auto Salvage, where he was known by everyone as “Dad”.
Working and spending time in his pole barn were his favorite pastimes. He enjoyed collecting parts, and loved Barbie’s pork roast, dumplings and sauerkraut. Many families will also remember him for being Santa Claus for many years during the holidays.
He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara, of Minooka; his children, Cynthia Sandburg , Maverick “Buddy” (Karen) Rizzo, Russell Allen Koleske, Vicky (Ernie) Kovacs , and Jennifer (Joseph) McWilliams; six granddaughters, Echo and Crystal Sandburg, Tanya and Trisha Allison, Tia Koleske, and Ava Kovacs; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; one sister, Cynthia (the late Raymond) Koleske-Tamos; two sisters-in-law, Judy (David) Lang and Jean (Darrell) Kruser; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and three brothers, Victor Koleske, and twins, Robert and Thomas Koleske.
Cremation rites have been accorded and a Celebration of David's Life will be held at a later date. Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, Morris, is in charge of arrangements. For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com
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