Fishing 04

James "Kaker" DeBernardi Jr.

May 28, 1927 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

James "Kaker" DeBernardi Jr. Obituary

James "Kaker" DeBernardi Jr., 96, of Naplate, passed away Saturday, March 2, 2024 at La Salle County Nursing Home with his family by his side.

Visitation will be on Saturday, March 9, from 10:00am until 10:30am at Ottawa Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00am at St. Patrick Catholic Church. Burial will be in Oakwood Memorial Park. 

Kaker was born May 28, 1927, in Ottawa, IL, to James and Mary (Patruski) DeBernardi Sr. He married Leona Ballock on June 18, 1949 at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Streator. 

Kaker attended Ottawa High School and started working at Libby Owens when he was 17 years old. He then served in the United States Coast Guard in Germany. When he returned, he went back to LOF and worked there for 42 years before his retirement. When he wasn't working, he was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt in southern Illinois and go on fishing trips to his cabin in Minnesota. He was very talented working with his hands, even making his own plugs and lures. 

He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Leona DeBernardi; his son, Gary (Debby) DeBernardi; his granddaughters, Shannon (Jesse) Eckenroth and Kendra (Robbie) Sorensen; his great grandchildren, Caden, Davin, Jaxon, Makenna, and Eliana Eckenroth and Van, Gemma, and Freya Sorensen; his sister, Joyce Piercy; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Sr. and Mary DeBernardi; his son, Daniel DeBernardi, and his siblings, Jack DeBernardi and Betty Thumm. 

Memorials may be directed to Naplate Police and Fire Departments, please reference the addresses below on where to direct the memorials. 

Naplate Volunteer Fire Department: 2000 W. Ottawa Ave, Naplate, IL, United States, Illinois

Naplate Police Department: 2000 Ottawa Street, Ottawa, IL, United States, Illinois

The online guest book may be viewed and remembrances shared at 

Ottawa Funeral Home & Crematory
1111 LaSalle St, Ottawa Illinois 61350

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

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March 9, 2024

10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Ottawa Funeral Home
1111 LaSalle Street
Ottawa, IL 61350

Mass of Christian Burial
March 9, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Patrick Church (Ottawa)


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