Roy Lesak

In Memorial

The first job for many youth is a paper route. But for Roy Lesak, his paper route was just the beginning of a career in newspaper circulation that spanned more than 60 years. He transitioned from paper boy to truck helper while a junior at Morton High School, was hired full-time at The LIFE as the Assistant Circulation Manager in 1954, and promoted to Circulation Manager in 1969. Even after his retirement in 1991, Lesak returned to The LIFE to work part-time as a driver, delivering papers into his 70’s.

On February 25, 2007, Mr. Lesak died after battling cancer over the past six months. Throughout his illness, he encountered nurses, aides and therapists who had worked for him as newspaper carriers over the past decades. It was always a source of great joy and pride for him to have played a role in giving these people their start in the working world. He had an uncanny memory for names, addresses, and details such as which carriers were always late delivering their routes.

Mr. Lesak was born in Chicago in 1933 to Bessie and Robert Lesak, and raised in Berwyn. In 1955, he married Marita Smith. Over the next several years, they had three daughters and moved to Brookfield in 1961, where he lived until his death.

He gave his own daughters their start in the working world as well, having them count and roll coins collected from vending machines, and deliver open routes on Saturdays. They have vivid memories of rising at 5:00 a.m. to deliver papers, and being rewarded with a stop at Fingerhut Bakery when they finished at 9:00 a.m. They were proud that their father could roll newspapers without using rubber bands, and hit a front porch with a newspaper tossed from a moving vehicle.

He was loved and respected by his coworkers at The LIFE, who were like extended family to him. He was active in his local community church, The First Congregational Church of Brookfield, in Girl Scouting, and bowled in several local bowling leagues over the years. He was particularly known for his quick wit and sense of humor.

As someone who worked 6 – 7 days much of his life, he especially appreciated vacation, and loved a good road trip. He refused to consider travel by either plane or boat, but loved train travel and had been to California via Amtrak on a family vacation in the past year. As an avid Cub fan, he also enjoyed a bus tour last summer of Midwestern and Northeastern baseball parks that commenced and ended at Wrigley Field.

He hoped and believed that indeed, all dogs go to heaven, and looks forward to reuniting with Boots, Cinders, Puff, Ben, Valentine, Maggie, Lacey and Harley.

Mr. Lesak was preceded in death by his wife, Marita (2002) and sister, Elaine Sternad (2006). He is survived by his three daughters, Virginia (Randy) Jakoubek, Barbara (David) Karlin and Lori Lesak; by his grandchildren, Daniel (fiancee Mackenzie Korth) and Julie Jakoubek, Jesse and Cody Karlin; by his sisters-in-law, Elaine (Bert – d) Zellers and Margaret (Bruce) Kinney; and by nieces and nephews, Marjorie, Tom and Carl Sternad, Scott, Steve, Todd and Cara Zellers, Tracy McClain, Dana Kleckauskas, Brian, James and Jillian Kinney.

Visitation Thursday, March 1, 2007, 3 P.M. to 9 P.M. and Friday, March 2, 2007, 10:30 A.M. to 11 A.M. at Hitzeman Funeral Home Ltd., 9445 West 31st Street, Brookfield, Funeral Friday 11 A.M. Interment Clarendon Hills Cemetery. Memorials to the American Caner Society appreciated. Information 708-485-2000 or

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