Robert Palis, 97

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By Staff

Worked at Lyons Township High School

Robert L. Palis, (a.k.a. Froggy), 97, died on Jan. 24, 2020 at Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, after a short illness. 

He lived most of his life in Illinois until his health began to decline. Born in Forest Park, he lived in Aurora, where his father owned a restaurant and was head chef. 

Mr. Palis was a submarine veteran of World War II, where he served as Motor Machinist's Mate First Class on the USS Rock and USS Icefish. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific arena from 1942 to 1945. 

On Feb. 20, 1944, he commissioned the USS Icefish from Manitowoc, Wisconsin where it was manufactured and put it into service. Prior to the Battle of the Coral Sea, the USS Icefish was severely damaged by enemy fire and almost sunk. In 1946, Mr. Palis was honorably discharged from the Navy. 

After the war, he married the love of his life, Claire Wheeler, on July 21, 1951. They moved to Berwyn where he operated a TV repair business. After retiring from television repair, he began working for Lyons Township High School, heading projects in maintenance. He loved to go golfing, but his special joy was fishing with his wife. 

He was a member of the Submarine Veterans of WWII and the Berwyn Eagles. In 2012, he moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, where he enjoyed the peace and tranquility of nature until his death. 

Mr. Palis is survived by his daughters, Pamela Palis-Kalisz (Patrick) and Carol Vance-Crow; and his many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces. He was preceded in death by his wife, Claire Wheeler; his daughter, Edith Holden; and his siblings and parents. 

Services have been hld. Entombment was at Woodlawn Cemetery, Chapel of Eternal Light, Forest Park.

Johnson-Nosek Funeral Home, Brookfield, handled arrangements.

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John Palter  

Posted: February 5th, 2020 11:03 PM

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Palis. My father was an officer on the Icefish for the final two war patrols. He was very proud of his service and talked about it often. These were very brave young men serving in the most hazardous duty of the war. May Mr. Palis rest in peace.

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