Robert Palis, 97

WWII veteran

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By Staff

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, he 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. 

Robert 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. 

Visitation was held on Jan. 30 with Chapel Service on Jan. 31 at Johnson-Nosek Funeral Home followed by entombment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Chapel of Eternal Light. 

Online Condolences may be offered to the family at

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