Cletus Blaes

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Cletus A. Blaes, 93, of Belleville, IL, born May 3, 1929, in Belleville, IL, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 4, 2023, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, IL, with his wife by his side.

Mr. Blaes was a graduate of Cathedral High School, class of 1947. Cletus then enlisted in the Air Force in 1950, he served in the 6147th Air Tactical Squadron during the Korean War. After his service, Mr. Blaes attended Florida State University from 1954-1958. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in 1967 and a master’s in 1972, both from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. While in school, he spent his time working as the lead usher behind home plate for the St. Louis Cardinals. Cletus became a teacher and taught at St. Catherine’s Catholic School and in the Cahokia District #187 for 35 years. Mr. Blaes was an active member of St. Augustine’s parish and food pantry, and the Moose Lodge 1221. He was also an avid golfer and enjoyed his time as a T&T Senior Golf member. Cletus was an amazing husband, father, and grandfather. He was a lifelong member of Belleville and loved the community dearly. Mr. Blaes never met a stranger and was known by many for his great story telling.

Cletus was preceded in death by his parents, Gilbert A. and Anita K., nee Jung, Blaes; and a brother, Frank Blaes.

Surviving are his loving wife of 62 years, Gloria, nee Range, Blaes, whom he married August 20, 1960; two daughters, Donna Donahue, and Yvonne (Gary) Tillyer; a son, Daniel (Debbie) Blaes; six grandchildren, Shawn (Rowena) Donahue, Amie (Nicholas) Pulizzano, Cate Blaes, Collin Blaes, Jessica (Brandon) Phillips, and Gabrielle (Austin) Peck; three brothers, Marvin (Barbara) Blaes, Fred (Betty) Blaes, and Ronald (Sis) Blaes; a sister, Carolyn Ann (Charles) Hinson; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Augustine Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, or to the St. Augustine Food Pantry, Belleville, IL. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, February 9, 2023, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, February 9, 2023, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating.

Burial with military honors will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.



21 Comments on Cletus Blaes

Mary K. (Voegtle) Carroll said : Guest Report May 04, 2023 at 8:32 PM

My sympathy to the Blaes family. Clete was one of the good dads growing up on West F Street! I ran into him at Eckerts a few years ago and we had fun reminiscing! We talked about the famous Rat Hole and laughed about how Johnny Weed got his nickname! Lol What a fun guy! He leaves a great legacy behind!

  • Fairview Heights
  • Illinois
Kim & Lisa Reichert said : Guest Report Feb 14, 2023 at 8:38 PM

Gloria, We were sorry to learn of Clete's passing. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Jill Lugge said : Guest Report Feb 09, 2023 at 7:16 PM

Gloria, I am so saddened that a saw this to late to give you my condolences in person. I remember Clete coming into the Pregnancy Care Center and patiently waiting for us to wrap things up so you could go home. I always enjoyed him smilingly telling me about the neighborhood he and I grew up in about a couple of generations apart. They were such neat stories and he told them so well. Praying he is resting and peace and you and the family are receiving some comfort in your grief. Jill & Doug Lugge

  • Millstadt
  • IL
Margaret May said : Guest Report Feb 09, 2023 at 10:18 AM

Gloria, I was saddened to hear of Cleve’s passing when Mary Therese called to tell me. He was a very nice man and always so friendly when we walked our dogs through Turtle Creek. We could alway count on a smile and wave when he saw him. My prayers are with you and your family. Margaret May

  • Citrus Hills
  • Florida
Richard Reeb said : Guest Report Feb 08, 2023 at 9:16 PM

Donna and family you have my deepest sympathy so sorry to hear about your father god bless you and your family

  • Swansea
  • Il
Richard Reeb said : Guest Report Feb 08, 2023 at 8:57 PM

Donna and family you have my deepest sympathy may God bless your family

  • Swansea
  • Il
Marty Mueller & Mueller family said : Guest Report Feb 08, 2023 at 3:18 PM

We were so saddened to hear the news of Clete's passing. Know that he will be with you always....he will live on in spirit and you'll see that often in the things and people around you. We pass along this healing Psalm: Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit. As the passing days turn into months and years, you will certainly grow to understand what God means when He says 'Do not be not afraid, I am with you....' May the good Lord bring you peace and comfort this week and during the sorrowful days ahead. May you be blessed each day with healing memories. Our hearts are heavy today. We will keep Clete, the family and friends in our daily prayers. May the Peace and Grace of God be with you today and every day.

  • Mount Prospect
  • IL
Keith Blaies said : Guest Report Feb 08, 2023 at 2:22 PM

Our heartfelt sympathy to his loving family. God bless ya'll! Love, Keith and Julie Blaies

  • Boerne
  • TX
Marvin Blaes said : Guest Report Feb 08, 2023 at 7:57 AM

I am already missing my older brother. There are still some stories I needed to know from Clete. I am sorry that I broke your bass ukelele over Frank's head. Frank and I used your chemistry set that Grampa gave you to set fire to the brewery woods behind our house. And you should have told me to roll up my pant leg when you taught me how to ride a bike. It took us a half hour to get it out of the chain. I will miss our facetime communications. Will always love you and get on the other end of the rope and start pulling me up to the Lord.

  • Little Rock
  • AR
Cheryl Smith said : Guest Report Feb 07, 2023 at 10:34 PM

Gloria, I am so sorry for your loss. You and Clete had such a beautiful marriage . I think of you often and especially now that I hear that you have lost your soul mate. God Bless you and your family.

  • Yuma
  • Arizona
Perry Hensley said : Guest Report Feb 07, 2023 at 4:32 PM

Aunt Gloria, So sorry to hear about Cleats Passing. He was always a joy to be around every time we came to visit with you guys we had such a great time. One of the Memories I have of him was when we came to visit we sent Ashton who was then 5yrs old to your door and Cleat came to the door she told him she was selling Girl Scouts cookies and ask if he wanted to buy some. When he went inside to get some money we all were at the door boy did we surprise him. He will be greatly missed.

  • Lenoir
  • NC
Marilyn said : Guest Report Feb 07, 2023 at 1:41 PM

I'm so sorry for the loss of a beautiful man. He was such a good friend of Mayor Richard Brauer and had a lot of memories with him. My condolences to the family. Marilyn Brauer Ackerman

  • Belleville
  • IL
Sybl Yankey said : Guest Report Feb 07, 2023 at 10:44 AM

Our deepest sympathy, prayers and loving thoughts to the Blaes family. What a joy it was to see Cletus at the Damascus Road Fellowship Food Pantry every month for several years, He generously brought fresh fruit and vegetables to give to our food pantry for us to give to those in need. We loved having conversations with him , We were so blessed to know his generous heart. May he R.I.P. Sybl & Bob Yankey Coordinators of DRF FOOD PANTRY

  • IL
Sherri Jaff said : Guest Report Feb 07, 2023 at 9:31 AM

We are reaching out across the miles to express our sincere condolences. Our hearts are heavy at the loss of Clete. As the senior member of the family everyone looked up to him. His leadership led the way for many to follow along the right path through life's journey. We miss him already and wish that we could be there with you during this very difficult time. Love, Sarchel, Sherri, and Shara.

  • Escondido
  • California
Bonnie said : Guest Report Feb 07, 2023 at 9:25 AM

Gloria, I’m sorry to hear of Clete’s passing. Anytime that I ran into you both, I was always delighted to get a smile and hello, how are you. So sweet that you still remember me and my family. I’ll keep you and Clete in my prayers.

  • Savoy
  • IL
Paula Sobol said : Guest Report Feb 06, 2023 at 7:40 PM

Clete was indeed a welcoming light in my life. My deepest sympathies to you all. He will be missed by many. He is in my prayers and you all as well God bless. Paula Ssobol

  • Belleville
  • IL
Lisa Hoelscher Gaal said : Guest Report Feb 06, 2023 at 6:17 PM

Gloria and Family. I am very sorry for your loss. I remember when we would go to the picnics to hear Cletus play music and seeing you at the turkey dance. He was a joy to be around. God bless and take care. Lisa and Vernon Gaal Verle and Matilda Hoelscher

  • Maryville
  • Illinois
Rich & Carolyn Buxton said : Guest Report Feb 06, 2023 at 4:56 PM

Gloria & family, Carolyn & I send our sincere & heartfelt condolences. Clete was an integral & valued member of the Cahokia High School family. I have many fond memories of him as CHS librarian & contributor to the annual Honors Banquet. May we all follow his example & live a giving life of 93 years & experience the joy of 62 years of marriage.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Barbie Duncan said : Guest Report Feb 06, 2023 at 12:48 PM

Mrs. Blaes, Danny, Donna, and Yvonne, We are so sorry to hear of Mr. Blaes' passing. What a wonderfully kind and gentle man. And, what a long life and beautiful legacy he left behind. Prayers headed your way. ~The Sax Family

  • Belleville
  • IL
John Sykes said : Guest Report Feb 06, 2023 at 10:53 AM

My sympathy to your family. It was a joy to work with Clete at CHS. He was always a bright spot in a day to stop and see him in the library. John Sykes

  • Columbia
  • Illinois
Connie Jean Goyda said : Guest Report Feb 06, 2023 at 9:42 AM

Dear Gloria, Donna & Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. You have my deepest sympathy. I will miss seeing Clete’s face at the Food Pantry & at church. God bless all of you & take care if you always.

  • Belleville
  • Il

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