Peter Flament

Obituary of Peter Flament

Peter D. Flament, age 91, passed away peacefully at Vista East on February 13, 2018 with his family by his side.

He was born at home on January 2, 1927, grew up on Hillside Ave in Waukegan and graduated with the Class of ’44. He participated in gym class boxing matches and set pins at the neighborhood bowling alley after school.  Peter enlisted in the Navy after his senior year of high school and did so in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had heard that he stood a good chance of being sent to boot camp in Nebraska if he enlisted in Illinois. So, he took the train to Milwaukee and went through boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Base!  Peter was handy with his hands and had a mind for machines. He became an engine mechanic/boiler maker for the Navy. After training, he joined the USS Montpelier and immediately went to war in October 1944, still only 17 years old.  Many engagements and ultimate victory over Japan was not the end of the war for Peter. In the days after the Pacific conflict ended, the USS Montpelier made port in Japan and aided in the rescue of Allied POWs. Peter was one of the first American troops to witness the devastation of the atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.  For Peter, the war was over when he returned to the US and “mustered out” in New York.  Upon his honorable discharge, he was accepted into Local 93 Plumbers Union and became a skilled tradesman. These skills were honed in the two family homes that he constructed, the solid oak handcrafted furniture pieces and in the numerous essential repairs that he performed for family, neighbors and friends. He was generous with his knowledge and passed down the value of “self-reliance”, a lesson that cannot be explicitly taught, but rather shown through example. He married Dorothy on August 27th, 1949 and they raised 5 children in Wadsworth on garden vegetables, hunted game and fresh caught fish. He taught them how to ice skate on the frozen Des Plaines river, swim in abandoned gravel pits and tie a snow toboggan to the back of a ’57 Chevy pickup truck.   After 25 years of “retirement bliss” spent in Fremont, Wisconsin, Peter and his wife returned to Waukegan. He gave much of his time to his church and for years, right up to the time of his death, was a proud volunteer at Vista East Hospital. He will be greatly missed.

Peter is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 69 years; daughters Ruthann (Keith) Hoffman, Mary Jane (Peter) Garcia; sons Richard (JoAnn) and Michael; grandchildren Patrick (Mara) & Elizabeth Garcia; Brad (Rachel), Brian (Janel), and Alex Flament; great-grandchildren Brody & Presley Flament and Jonas & Julian Garcia; sister, Mary Ann (George) Shwaiko and many favorite nieces and nephews.

Peter is preceded in death by his parents, Peter & Helen, sister Jean Anderson and son Howard.

Many went to war, not all returned. We, as a community, were blessed to have witnessed Peter’s faith, courage, resolve and love for all of us. 

Visitation will be held on Sunday, February 18, 2018 from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m. at the Congdon Funeral Home, 3012 Sheridan Road, Zion, IL with a prayer service at 4:00 p.m.  Visitation will continue on Monday, February 19, 2018 from 9:00 until 10:00 a.m. at St. Dismas Catholic Church, 2600 Sunset Ave, Waukegan, IL.  A funeral mass will follow at 10:00 a.m. at the church.  Interment will be held later at Ascension Cemetery, Libertyville, IL.