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Steven E. Breault, aged 62, a native of Oak Lawn, Blue Island, and Peotone, Illinois. Son of Ernest Cyril and Shirley Emma (Hayden) Breault of Oak Lawn. Brother of Christine (Robert) Crudo of Tinley Park. Devoted husband of Donna M. (House) Breault and loving father of Nathaniel E. Breault of Peotone. Cousin of Kellie (Al) Folkerts of Wisconsin and several aunts, uncles, and cousins from the areas of Hastings, Nebraska and Ohio.
On the surface of life, he worked at Southwest Lawnmower in Chicago for 40 years and was an excellent mechanic and gifted tinker who helped thousands of people get their work done. If you met him, you would remember him. Beneath the surface, he was a curator of the world who loved history and the people around him.
He loved small towns and rural America deeply and was a devotee of early 20th century Americana. His historical interests encompassed how the people lived at that time, their music, their homes, and especially, their machines. He had a hands-on passion for history and restored a number of 20th century clocks and lamps. In his lifetime, he also owned nearly 150 cars and painstakingly restored at least 20 to their original conditions.
Steve deeply respected others’ heritage. One of his proudest accomplishments was returning fragments of a Norman tapestry, found by his father during WWII, to the French people.
He belonged to the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Peotone where his spiritual leanings found a home and forged a quiet strength. He later served as a church Trustee and oversaw the restoration of the church and its crumbling masonry steeple. The project let him express his love of rural America, and he guided the restoration with his relentless attention to historical detail.
He came to marriage and fatherhood late in life. He was a loving, gentle, and devoted husband and father, who imparted to his son not just the qualities of a good man but also his love of people, music, and mechanics.
Steve was patient, fair, and just. He held those who tried hard in high esteem but could suffer fools too. He would not suffer intimidating or aggressive people. Here, he showed his temper but took no pride in it.
He was humorously proud of his French Canadian heritage and often ended off-the-wall escapades or ideas he championed with, “But you see, I am French Canadian... ”.
Steve died December 26, 2015 at his home in Peotone. He was a friend to many and left a lasting mark on all who knew him.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, January 9th at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Peotone with visitation from 10:00 am to 11:30 and a memorial directly after with the Rev. Dwight Gorbold officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family’s wishes would be appreciated.
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