Peter James Gabay Jr., 93, of Elmhurst, died on Aug. 29, 2022. Born on March 20, 1929 in Berwyn, to Peter Sr. and Emma (Michalec) Gabay, he was a union construction worker, specializing in reinforced concrete, building many skyscrapers in the Chicago area. He was also an employee of Teitelbaum Construction Company and a 50-plus-year member of the Chicago Regional Council of the Carpenters Union. He was also a Gold Card member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He served overseas in the Korean War as a tank commander of the 89th Medium Tank Battalion, C Company and named his tank “Chicago.” He wore his Korea Veteran ball cap everywhere and even maintained a couple of 50-plus-year friendships with members of his unit. His greatest joy was participating in the Lake County Honor Flight and seeing the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C., bringing his service full circle.

A simple man, he loved cabbage pies, grapes, cherries, pork, dumplings and sauerkraut and every end cut he could snitch of a turkey or roast fresh out of the oven. He loved fishing, with bullhead his fish of choice. A very competitive man, he played a mean card game of Crazy Eights, with few ever able to beat him. Bowling was another passion. As a young adult, he was an amateur bowler with the American Bowling Congress (ABC), competing in New Orleans, Texas and Chicago. He had quite a hook. Well into his 80s he was still able to practice his skills and beat everyone at mini-bowling. He was also competitive in several softball leagues and loved baseball. The Chicago Cubs were his life-long team. As a child he would often skip school to take the train downtown for opening day. He died listening to a Cubs game on the radio.

He was always where help was needed. The importance of his handshake was his strongest belief. Even at 93 he had the grip of a 20-year-old. As many have described him, he was a “true gentleman.”

Peter’s five daughters were among his proudest accomplishments.

He is survived by Joann, his wife of 67 years; his daughters, Joni, Vicki, Susan (Scott), Gina (Richard), and Korynne (Jeffrey); his five grandchildren, Shawn (Mary Anne), Damien, Xavier, Ashley (Mike), Maria; two great-grandchildren, Gianna and Cora; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Charlotte (Jack), his sons-in-law, Toti and Randy, and his granddaughter, Xara.

Private interment will take place at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, Illinois.

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