David Joseph Nekola

03/24/1942 - 09/10/2023


Obituary For David Joseph Nekola

David Joseph Nekola, 81, born to Thomas William Nekola and Emily Hussmann Nekola in Alton Illinois, passed away September 10, 2023 due to complications from cancer. Dave was career Navy, traveling the world, serving on many ships in the Pacific, facing combat on patrol gunboats in the rivers of Vietnam as Lieutenant and retiring with an honorable discharge as Master Chief, after 23 years. Dave was awarded the Purple Heart and was 100% disabled due to exposure to Agent Orange. Dave worked for Sara Lee Corp, Fullerton Metals and Metalex, before returning to Naval Station Great Lakes, where his naval career started, to teach diesel mechanics through San Diego City College, until he retired at age 62 in 2004.

Dave had a huge heart; family, friends, and fellowship were most important to him, closely followed by bowling and the Chicago Cubs. He also enjoyed fishing, golf, bingo and poker. He was always quick-witted with a joke or ready to show a magic trick. Dave never missed a birthday or holiday and was well known for always sending cards to family and friends.

Dave is survived by his sisters Dolores Parish, Elaine Persons, Rose Lee McClure, sons Michael (Melanie) and Mark, grandchildren Kaitlyn, Caroline, James Hawley (step) and Vincent Hammack, and stepchildren Scott Eichler (Tricia), Robyn Eichler-Karnes (Jeff) and Peter Eichler (Stephanie) and grandchildren Anthony (Rose), Devin, Trevor, Alexis, Tessa, Shane and Nicole Mummer (Curt) and great grandchildren Evelyn and Ryker, 42 nieces and nephews, numerous great nieces and nephews and many treasured friends.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, wife Mary Ann, brother Thomas, sister Mary Ann Kanturek (Clarence), five nephews, two nieces, and his best friend and beloved dog Charlie.

Details for memorial service to be determined. In lieu of flowers, and to honor David, donations can be made in his memory to his favorite pet rescue:

Placing Paws of Illinois

P.O. Box 121

Libertyville IL 60048


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  • 09/14/2023

    God bless all of his family, he was such a fun, loving friend. He even came to my husband, Bobby Strozier 's memorial three years ago. We always had a great time with him at the Gunboat conventions. Love and prayers 💞🙏😢

  • 09/13/2023

    I will miss you Uncle Dave and your quirky sense of humor and those corny jokes and the stories. You always made me laugh.

  • 09/13/2023

    I am so saddened to hear of Dave's passing. I had the privilege of knowing him through the Patrol Gunboat Reunions. He always made me laugh. I will miss him.

  • 09/13/2023

    Grandpa Dave was such a unique and great person. He used to drive us around in his Ford Aerostar and sing weird al yankovic songs to us, teach us magic tricks, and carried around his "pride and joy" in his wallet, which were literally pictures of the cleaning products "Pride" and "Joy". i will miss him

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