Norbert Gostave Spevak

  • Born: May 30, 1937
  • Died: May 14, 2005
  • Location: Coloma, Michigan

Tribute & Message From The Family

Norbert ?Captain Gus? Spevak, 67, of Coloma, MI, passed away on Saturday, May 14, 2005, at his home. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Thursday, May 19, 10:00 A.M., at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Church St., St. Joseph, MI, with Father Thomas Martin officiating. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery, St. Joseph, MI. Visitation will be on Wednesday, May 18, from 3:00-9:00 P.M., at Kerley-Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI. Given his love of people and nature, donations, in lieu of flowers, may be given to a charity of the donor?s choice. Friends wishing to leave a message of condolence, or to sign the family guestbook, may do so at

Norbert was born May 30, 1937, in Chicago, IL, to Norbert and Mildred (Pliml) Spevak. As a teenager he delivered shirts for his grandfather who was a tailor and owned a garment factory in the Pilsen area of Chicago. He graduated from Fenwick High School and attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He served aboard the Naval Destroyer U.S.S. Borie as a signalman during the Suez crisis. He received commendations for a flotilla design insignia and for outstanding leadership. He had a long career in sales and advertising, 30 years were spent with Life Newspapers in Berwyn, IL. He was awarded ?Outstanding sales representative of the year? by the Campbell Soup Company. While a life long resident of North Riverside and Chicago, he summered and sailed out of St. Joseph, MI, for many years. He was an avid sailor and member of the Columbia Yacht Club for 25 years. He was a gifted artist, cook, and in later years a gardner. He amassed a fortune in memories, laughter, and friendships. A man who was known for his humor, generosity, and hospitality. He was a long time contributor to wildlife organizations, and was recently awarded a certificate by the National Wildlife Federation for a backyard wildlife habitat. Norbert ?Captain Gus? loved the sea, sailing, and nature. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

His true loves were his family. He is survived by five children, Kathy (Mike) Tarr of Orland Park, IL, Karen Spevak of Orland Park, IL, John (Mary) Spevak of Appleton, WI, Jim (Danielle) Spevak of Geneva, IL, and Joe (Kristen) Spevak of Brookfield, IL; nine grandchildren- Joshua, Alex, Haley, Jimmy, Jamie, Lexie, Savannah, Morgan, and Sydney; his life partner and best friend Grace Gianforte; two brothers, Richard of Hickory Hills, IL, and Alan of Bloomsberg, PN; close cousins, the Kasper family of Berwyn, IL; and his beloved aunt Vlasta. He is preceded in death by his parents Norbert and Mildred.

Condolence & Memory Journal


Posted by B.J. (JACK) STEBOR    May 29, 2005

Dear Kathy,

Scanning the newspaper I came across your Father's obituary. I am sorry for your loss, and extend my sympathies to you and your family.

Posted by Mike Earl    May 19, 2005

We are friends of Grace's and had met Gus on a few occassions through her. Gus welcomed us as his friends immediately and was very warm and open. The times we had with Gus were always enjoyable, as he brought a great element of "fun" to life. May the blessings be with all of you.

Posted by Susan and Leo Pickar    May 19, 2005

Karen and Family- I was so sad to hear the news. Met him just a few times but spoke with him often over the phone. Always a joke and a kind word came from his end of the phone. I will remember him for always making me laugh.

Posted by Michelle Murphy    May 18, 2005

My deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one. May God comfort you and give you strength.

Posted by rose g cleveland    May 18, 2005

To the family of Norb. sincere condolences. Norb was friend and classmate at Fenwick and we'll all miss him.

Posted by Henry Robinson    May 18, 2005

My sympathy to the family-and many friends-of Norb. Norb was a year ahead of my class of 1960 at Loras College, and was always a "great friend".

Posted by Pat Dalton    May 18, 2005

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Spevak kids and grandkids at this time. Norb Spevak was full of life, love and the pursuit of happiness. May you all keep in your heart, his grand memories.

Posted by The Powers Family    May 17, 2005

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by George and Shelly Chamraz    May 17, 2005

I graduated with Norm from Fenwick H.S.
He was a wonderful young man. I'll miss him, especially at our 50th Reunion this October in Oakbrook ,IL.

Posted by Kevin T. Gross    May 17, 2005

Our deepest sympathy to the family. He will be missed at our 50 year reunion.

Ron Beshk

Posted by Ron Beshk    May 17, 2005

I am a friend of Grace's and thus how I got to know Gus, everyone was a friend to him and he was such a warm and giving person, may peace be with you all.

Posted by Aimee Volanski    May 17, 2005

I'm a Fenwick HS graduate, Class of 1955. Norn will be misses by all his fellow FHS graduates at the 50th reunion.

Posted by Joseph P. Joyce III    May 17, 2005

Karen and family--I'll always remember your Dad's smile, his hospitality, and how he made me laugh and smile when I was around him. I know you'll all greatly miss him. My deepest sympathy.

Posted by Susan Spale    May 17, 2005

My deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Norb. He was a wonderful giving and caring person. He will be greatly missed. Norb will be with part of the Jolly Five.

Posted by Mary Anne Loftsgaarden    May 17, 2005

The entire staff at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home wishes to extend our sympathy to your family.

Posted by Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home    May 16, 2005