Bakunas, Gestaut, Shadis, Petrokas, Chepulis

There are a few connections between these families, per newspaper obituaries. (Note: The Gestaut name also is connected by marriage to the Petrokas, Senkos, Riskevicius and Chepulis families. Possibly Caroline Gestaut Shadis was a daughter or sister of Barbara Gestaut Petrokas…)

Barbara Shadis, 89, of 1201 W. Lawrence Ave., was born in Lithuania, the daughter of Matthew and Caroline Gestaut. Preceding her in death were her husband, Vincent, one son, Frank, one sister and two brothers. Surviving are four daughters: Mrs. Stella Remiasz and Mrs. Virginia Rusek, both of Chicago, Mrs. Valeria Shaughnessy of Springfield and Mrs. Ann Price of San Diego, Calif. There are also 16 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery. Dated 3/27/85

Anna Bakunis, 86, formerly of 1010 N 8th St., was a resident of Springfield for 60 years and a member of St. Vincent de Paul Lithuanian Catholic Church. She was born in Lithuania, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shadis. Her husband Frank died in 1969 and she lost two sons: Jess in 1954 and Alex in 1961. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Carl Senger and Mrs. Warren Galligan, both of Springfield, two sons, Alfred of Detroit and Stanley of Decatur, 14 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Mrs. Mary Moser of Bloomington, and several nieces and nephews. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery. Dated 3/11/71

Joe Chepulis, Sr., co-founder of Champion Garage on E. Black St., married Sylvia Petrokas at St. Vincent de Paul’s, where they met. Sylvia was the daughter of coal-mining Lithuanian immigrant Stanley W. Petrokas, who was the son of Ignatius and Barbara Gestaut Petrokas. Sylvia’s mother was Catherine Rice (Rieskevicius), who was the daughter of Adam and Anna (Senkos) Rieskevicius. Catherine died in 1924 at the age of 25, leaving Stanley with two daughters, Sylvia and Ruth (Petrokas) Lustig, whom he raised by himself.

Joe and Sylvia (Petrokas) Chepulis had five children: Mary, Joe, Jr., who took over Champion garage when his dad became ill in 1987; John, an electrician; Bernadine, who studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago; and Patricia, who retired from the state and also earned a nursing degree. Mary earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from SIU-Edwardsville and worked for years as an advocate for the disabled. All the girls attended Ursuline Academy.

Joe, Bill and Mary Ann Chepulis were the children of Lithuanian immigrants Carl (Karalius) and Mary Eva (Lelesius) Chepulis. Carl was born in 1884 in the Marijampole area. He married Mary Eva in 1908 at St. Vincent de Paul Lithuanian Catholic Church. Also born in 1884, Mary Eva came to the U.S. when she was 18 with a cousin surnamed Kurila. Their first child was born in 1909. The family lived on North 15 St. for many years, across the street from the Sluzalis home.


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