Obituary Listings

Hal J. Cress

May 2, 1926 April 21, 2019
Hal J. Cress
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Obituary for Hal J. Cress

Hal J. Cress
Of Hoffman Estates

Hal J. Cress, formerly of Arlington Heights, Illinois was born on May 2, 1926 in Miami, Florida. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his children on Sunday, April 21, 2019, in Streamwood, Ilinois.

Hal grew up in a small town in Iowa before joining the Navy. He was on the Yorktown Carrier during the end of World War II. After the war ended, he went to college under the GI bill. One summer, while working at an orphanage, he met his wife, Joann. They got married and moved to Colorado where Hal accepted a job teaching industrial arts. Within 2 years, they had 2 sons, Jeff and Kevin. Three years later, Hal began a new job teaching Driver’s Education which moved them back to Illinois. They settled in Rolling Meadows where their daughter, Jennifer, was born. Two years later, they moved to Arlington Heights where they resided for 45 years. They were very active in the Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist in Palatine where they had many enjoyable times with friends. After retiring in 1986 from Niles North High School, Hal worked as a handyman. He loved to build and rebuild areas of homes. He was happiest in his backyard workshop surrounded by tools and wood.

Hal had such a zest for life and never stopped learning. This is apparent in the number of colleges he attended over the years achieving both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He loved talking to people and always had something interesting to say. You often would see him with his “Hal Cress” name tag on. His daughter, Jennifer, would ask "Dad, why are you wearing that?" and Hal would reply, "I like people to call me by name." There’s a saying, “Not all that wander are lost” and he certainly lived by that. Over the years, Hal loved to explore the United States by camping and RVing. He especially loved visiting Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Colorado or any National Park. In his later years. Hal enjoyed traveling with his kids and grandkids exploring Yellowstone, Colorado, Glacier National Park and Banff, Canada.

Hal loved to write stories of his childhood lived on an Iowa farm. Until a few months before he died, Hal was still spending time writing each week. His many manuscripts display his long-time dream of publishing them some day. Hal loved reading stories from the years he was a young man and always seemed to have a pile of books next to his favorite chair in his apartment.

Hal will be remembered as a man with a warm heart and good soul who loved his kids and extended family along with his many friends. He had a long and wonderful life and his family will miss him dearly.

Hal is survived by his son Kevin (Marie) Cress, and daughter, Jennifer (Howard) Brinn; his 9 grandchildren, Cody, Logan and Reno Brinn, Alishia, Selena, Alana, Nicole, Jason and Caleb Cress; and his 3 great grandchildren, Mary Ann, Mia Parra-Munoz, and Elton Cress.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joann (Heselton) Cress; his son, Jeff Cress and his parents.

Funeral services are private.

Funeral Information and condolences can be given at or (847) 253-0168.


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