Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Mr. Leonel “Leo” Cruz, 64, of Kirkwood, Illinois, formerly of Galesburg, Illinois died at 1:29 a.m. Friday, January 12, 2024, at OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria, Illinois.
He was born October 10, 1959, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico to Guadalupe and Juanita (Cervantez) Cruz. He married Christine Flagg on June 15, 2013, in Kirkwood.
Surviving is his wife, Chris Cruz of Kirkwood, two sons, Stevan (and Cynthia) Cruz of Hershey, Pennsylvania and Tevon (and Kylie) Maples of Kirkwood, a daughter, Suzana (and Eric) Castellano of Pueblo, Colorado, a brother, Gilberto (and Jennifer) Cruz of East Peoria, Illinois, two half-brothers, Sergio Cruz of Galesburg and Juan (and Martha) Cruz of Galesburg, two half-sisters, Irma (and Roberto) Cerda of Laredo, Texas and Hilda Salazar of Galesburg, eight grandchildren, Tyler Larson, Briana Larson, Letticia Larson, Unique Castellano, Lilly Castellano, Adelina Grace Maples, Isabella Cruz, and Dominic “Nico” Cruz, several nieces and nephews, including special nieces and nephews, Julissa Cruz of Galesburg, Caitlin Cruz of East Peoria, Benjamin Cruz of East Peoria, and Tomas Cruz of East Peoria, and several aunts, uncles and great nieces and great nephews.
Leo and his family moved from Mexico to Galesburg in 1973. He graduated from Galesburg High School in 1979. He attended Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, where he completed his general studies and received his Frontline Leadership Course Certificate. He also attended Bradley University in Peoria and completed course work in middle and modern management through the MBA Program. He received his Catholic Health Association Certificate in Healthcare Management at University of Missouri-St. Louis. He also received his National Executive Housekeeping Association Certification and Emergency Medical Technicians License. Leo used his degrees and certifications when working for Galesburg Cottage Hospital as the Assistant Director of Housekeeping for 20 years. He later was the Assistant Director of Physical Plan for General Service at Monmouth College for 11 years. He was then the Program Coordinator for Bridgeway Training Services and was an EMT for GHAS for several years until his retirement. He was very active in the area communities. He was active in planning, set-up, and operations of community events sponsored by Galesburg Cottage Hospital, including Railroad Days Medical Express Tent, 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, Elderhealth Community Services and the Sandburg Mall Health Fairs. Leo was also active with area sporting events including Churchill Junior High soccer, assistant soccer coach at Costa Junior High, and Galesburg Youth Softball. He also volunteered at United Junior High football games on the chain gang, volunteered for Galesburg’s little league baseball and softball. He was also a member and volunteer for the YMCA and Galesburg Booster Club. He was not only a Junior High soccer coach, but he also refereed several games. He was a member of the National Environmental Health Association. He was of the Catholic Faith and attended Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Galesburg and later Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Monmouth. Leo was from a large family and loved being a part of their lives. He loved his family and kept in contact with his family from Mexico. He will be missed by all who know him.
A prayer service will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, January 20, 2024, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Service Galesburg Chapel. Deacon Michael Crummer will lead the prayers. Visitation will follow from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the chapel. A Celebration of life will follow the visitation at The Hide Out in Galesburg at 4:00 p.m. As Leo requested, cremation will follow the visitation. Memorials may be made to the family for a memorial to be decided at a later date. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.
The family to divide between the many organizations he generously supported