Joseph Kenneth “Joe” Kral, 75 of Salem passed away Monday, March 22, 2021 at Nature Trail Health Care Center in Mt. Vernon. He was born on July 28, 1945 the son of Edward and Lenora (Johnson) Kral in Elgin. He married Paula Fields on February 10, 1973 in Elgin and she survives in Salem.
Along with his wife of 48 years, Paula Kral, survivors that will remember Joe’s love for his beloved family include his children, Brian (Carla) Covalt of Odin, Scott Covalt and fiancée Monica of Salem, Dawn Kral of Salem, and Sheri (Trent) Heser of Salem; cherished grandchildren, Brian “Buddy”, Chad, Brianna, John, Jenna, Cody, Brandi, and Nathanial; many precious great-grandchildren; siblings that nurtured Joe as the baby of the family include, Edward Kral Jr., Richard Kral, Butch Keller, Lorina Holt, and Maryann Matthews; and a host of many nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his father, Edward Kral; mother, Lenora Keller (Conrad); sister, Barb Stout; brothers, Bill Kral and infant Robert Kral; 1 infant child; and great-grandchild, Aiden Michael Covalt.
Joe served his country with pride and honor in the United States Navy where he was a cook and gratefully mastered recipes that he brought back home. He was a loyal employee of JD Cahill in Centralia, and Union Special in Huntley, Illinois. Joe loved to make the most of a Sunday afternoon by watching Nascar on television. He was a huge sports fan and supported all of Chicago’s teams. Joe was a super fan of the Chicago White Sox and he cheered when the Blackhawks scored a goal. He rooted for the Bulls during basketball season, and no one yelled out for the Bears louder, and with more excitement than Joe. He genuinely enjoyed the plot of a good book and was an avid reader. He had amazing luck with solitaire and impressed everyone with his frequent wins. Joe also liked to watch YouTube videos that entertained him and taught him new skills. While in the comfort of the home he and his wife, Paula made together, Joe made his most treasured memories. He was a true chef and made mouthwatering homemade pizza from his own special recipe he learned in the Navy. He was proud to be called “PePaw”, “Grandpa”, and “PaPa Joe Joe” by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who he adored and loved to spoil. Joe’s gentle spirit, kind heart, and immense love for his family will live on in the hearts of all those he knew and loved.
Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Odin is privileged to be assisting the family of Joe Kral with arrangements. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 26, 2021 at Peaceful Valley Cemetery in Odin with Chaplain Wayne Sensel officiating. Military rites will be accorded by the American Legion Post 446 and VFW Post 2055. Memorials may be made in Joe’s honor to Irvin Macz Funeral Home. Online condolences and memories of Joe may be shared with the family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.
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