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George E. Dirksen, age 77, a former longtime resident of Naperville, IL passed away on Thursday, January 14th, 2021 at Mercy South Hospital in St. Louis, MO. He was born July 30, 1943 in Urbana, IL.

Beloved husband of Diane M. Dirksen (nee Peradotto) of 53 years, whom he married on January 13, 1968; dear brother of Jim (Gayle) Dirksen, Jeanne (Michael) Fiorita, and Jeff Dirksen; brother-in-law of Dr. John (Marlene) Peradotto; respected father of Joshua (Michelle) Dirksen and Jonathan (Heather) Dirksen; father-in-law of Mark Herrick; favorite uncle of the Honorable Erin Peradotto, Monica (Michel) Cassier, Noreen (Dave) Castellano, Nicole Peradotto, Courtney (Tim Bourn) Dirksen, Ryan Dirksen, Eric (Jessi) Dirksen, Mike E. Fiorita, Jenna (Ben) Schuyler, Rhea Fiorita and Kathryn Fiorita; beloved Pop Pop to Molly Dirksen, Madeline Dirksen, Amelia Dirksen and Avery Dirksen.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Rhea (nee Ensign) Dirksen; his sister, Mary K. Dirksen; his brother-in-law the Rev. Richard Peradotto; and his dear daughter, Melissa (nee Dirksen) Herrick.

George grew up in Decatur, IL, graduating from St. Theresa High School in 1961 and later served in the United States Air Force from 1961-1965. He went on to study mathematics at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, graduating in 1970, and obtained his Masters Degree in Organizational Behavior from George Williams College in 1985. He and Diane made Naperville their home in 1968, raising their three children before moving to Oswego and ultimately landing in St. Louis, to be near their grandchildren. He was a long-time member of St. Raphael’s Church in Naperville. He loved music, was an avid runner in his younger days and began his love of soccer by coaching Naperville Youth Soccer in the late 1970’s. He traded in his coaching shoes for a referee whistle and was a highly respected and consummate youth, high school and college referee for 25 years. George also had a passion for Native American studies and made many visits to reservations so he could participate in native traditions of the various tribes he studied.

Visitation will be held Friday, January 22, 2021 from 3:00-7:00PM at Kutis Funeral Home (South County Chapel), 5255 Lemay Ferry Rd., Mehlville, MO 63129. Current health guidelines state that no more than 25 individuals at a time may pay their respects to the family inside the parlor, and guests are required to wear masks and follow social distancing procedures. For those unable or uncomfortable traveling due to Covid regulations and guidelines, we will also have a memorial service in Naperville later this year.

Family and friends will meet for a funeral mass to be celebrated on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 10:00AM at St. Simon the Apostle Catholic Church, 11011 Mueller Rd., St. Louis, MO 63123.

In lieu of flowers, donations in George’s memory may be made to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center (http://aktalakota.stjo.org/) or the St. Louis Area Foodbank (https://stlfoodbank.org/).