Joliet Park District Employee Loses Battle With Leukemia

Visitation is December 1st for John Block.

Obituary for John Block from Blackburn Giegerich Sonntag Funeral Home:

John Block, died peacefully at the age of 28 on Saturday November 25, 2023 at the University of Chicago Hospital. He was born November 11, 1995 in Springfield, Illinois. John was a good soul with an ever-present smile, who loved life.


Baptized John David by Fr. Medard Buvala, OFM, he was a lifelong parishioner of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.  John attended St. Joseph and St. Mary Nativity Grade Schools and Providence High School.  He was employed by the Joliet Park District.  John enjoyed boating, waterskiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and singing a good country song.  As a summer volunteer for Edmunite Missions in Mosses, Alabama, John won the hearts of the people, especially the children, delivering food and supplies collected in Joliet, installing playground equipment and painting their community center.


John is survived by his loving parents George and Regina Block, caring brother Joseph (Ruth Collins) Block; supportive siblings Ashli Gaffney and her mother Michele Gaffney and Zach (Hannah) Graves and his mother Jennifer Graves; paternal grandmothers Maureen Block and Marlene Moore.  Maternal aunts and uncles: Peter (Gail) Piazza, Chris (Margie Banicke) Piazza, Mary Piazza, John (Karen) Piazza, Jamie (Christina) Piazza, Margy (Mark) Seidel, Greg (Lori) Piazza, Sean (Ronette) Piazza, Therese Piazza, Deanna Piazza, Michele (Scott) Schroeder. Paternal aunts and uncles: Pam Tezak, Ken Block, Beth (Doug) Hucek, Tom Block, Ron Block and Jeri Moore. Also surviving are numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and “Best Bud” Jimmy Austin.


John was preceded in death by his grandparents Peter and Noreen Piazza and George Block; maternal aunt Madonna Piazza and paternal uncle Tom Tezak.


John was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on March 19, 2021.  From the onset the outpouring of love and prayerful support was amazing. John and his family greatly appreciated the compassionate medical care provided by the entire UChicago Hospital Young Adult Clinic, especially Adam DuVall, MD, Wendy Stock, MD, and Juli Dziuban, PA; his local primary care provided by Joseph Hindo, MD; and the kind consideration of Brad Staab and the support of Joliet Park District staff during John’s illness.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the memory of John Block to Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic, C/O The University of Chicago Gift Administraction & Business Data, 5235 South Harper Court, Suite 450, Chicago, IL 60615 or the Joliet Park District Foundation, 3000 West Jefferosn St., Joliet, IL 60435.


Visitation for John Block will be held at the Blackburn Giegerich Sonntag Funeral Home, 1500 Black Road, Joliet on Friday December 1, 2023 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue Saturday, December 2, 2023 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 404 North Hickory Street, Joliet beginning at 8:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:45 a.m. at the church.  Private Interment at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery, Joliet. For more information, please call 815-744-4444 or visit