John “Jack” Genetti

Print Obituary
John “Jack” Joseph Genetti, 99.83 years, of Belleville, IL, born September 26, 1923, in Carlinville, IL, died Monday, July 10, 2023, at Missouri Baptist Hospital, St. Louis, MO.

Jack graduated in 1941 from Gillespie Illinois High School. He received scholarships in both football and basketball from Saint Louis University. Jack played both sports before and after returning from military service and graduated in 1947 from Saint Louis University. Jack was a veteran of the United States Navy Air Corps. He joined the military in August 1943 and served as a pilot of a TBF Avenger Torpedo Bomber until December 1945. Jack received his Navy wings in 1945. One of the greatest thrills in his life occurred the first time he landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Jack was a founding member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish. He was active in the Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish Council at school, the Holy Name Society, and served as Chairman for the Belleville Catholic Grade School Picnic. He coached the boys’ basketball, baseball, and girls’ softball teams at Queen of Peace. Jack assisted with the Thursday Rosary and was a member of the Queen of Peace Prayer Chain.

Jack volunteered with his wife, at St. Louis Lambert Field USO and the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen in East St. Louis. He was a class aide at Ellis School, he participated in the Catholic Urban League Program, a food pantry worker, a member of the sick and aged program at Memorial Hospital, and an aide assisting seniors prepare their income tax returns. He was a member of the Serra Club, Right to Life 40 Days of Life, and the American Legion.

Jack worked for Haskins and Sells Public Accounting Firm, and McDonnell Aircraft. He served as chief accountant and chief internal auditor at Falstaff Brewing Corporation, Federal Bank Examiner, for the Farm Credit Administration. Jack was inducted into the Saint Louis University Sports Hall of Fame for football and basketball in February 1994.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of almost 64 years, LaVerne M., nee Gonder, Genetti, whom he married on January 25, 1947, and who died on January 3, 2011; his daughter, Mary Ann Genetti; his son, John Genetti; his parents, John B. and Julia F., nee Rolando, Genetti; and a great-grandson, Benjamin Ryder Sillivent.

Surviving are three children, Theresa (Donald) Walterbach of Manchester, MO, Catherine Genetti of Brentwood, MO, and Joan (Nicholas) Gehrs of St. Charles, MO; a daughter-in-law, Karin A. Genetti; 11 grandchildren, Michael (Renee) Genetti, Elizabeth Genetti, Christina Genetti, Melissa Genetti, Olivia (Max) Barajas, Joseph (Maggie) Walterbach, Philip (Heidi) Walterbach, Mary (Brandon) McCann, Andrew (Kelly) Genetti, Clare (Jack) Balinger, and Kate Gehrs; 16 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Ruth (August) Lohmann of Collinsville, IL, Roselle Derfler of Fairview Heights, IL, and Sister Julia (Marie) Genetti of Alton, IL; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Our Lady Queen of Peace School, Catholic Urban Programs, or to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 15, 2023, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Fr. Stanley Konieczny officiating.

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



11 Comments on John “Jack” Genetti

Joe McDonnell said : Guest Report Jul 17, 2023 at 4:48 PM

Jack was one of the kindest persons I've met. I got to know him through the Serra Club and would see him at Mass on Sunday, usually with his daughter. He told me stories about his basketball days at SLU, his interaction with Ed MaCauley, the great center and also with Jack a member the Hall of Fame. He was invariably friendly and fun to talk to. I will miss him greatly.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Elaine Campbell Joost said : Guest Report Jul 16, 2023 at 3:21 PM

I did not have the privilege of knowing Mr. Genetti but I want to express my condolences and thanks. I have been active in Right to Life in the Belleville area for many years and most recently been on the planning committee for 40 Days for Life. His dedication to life was truly a gift we are all grateful for. Rejoice in the presence of our Creator Mr. Genetti. Peace be with all the Genetti family.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Andy kinsella said : Guest Report Jul 15, 2023 at 7:20 AM

I am a member, in good standing, of the Jack Genetti Fan Club. He will be remembered as a worthy adversary in countless games of “Knock” at holiday parties. My fondest memories, however, are of the annual trips to Billiken Alumni Night. At halftime the basketball alumni in attendance would be paraded out, one by one, to the cheers of thousands of fans. The volume of the applause varied from polite to enthusiastic, depending on the popularity of the former player. Without fail, the loudest, most fervent response was for Jack Genetti, Hall-of-Famer from the 1942, 43, 46, & 47 teams. A man that no one in the building had ever even seen play. Also without fail, was my inability to hold back tears of joy for a man I will forever regard as a hero. Jack, a perfect combination of achievement and humility, wasn’t particularly thrilled with the event. He wasn’t comfortable with the “showiness” of the ordeal and routinely, had to be coaxed to attend. What a great guy and how lucky I am to have known him.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Sharon Genetti Cain said : Guest Report Jul 14, 2023 at 3:44 PM

We are so saddened to hear about the loss of our Patriarch Jack. Jack was my father Bernard’s childhood buddy and first cousin. Jack told stories of how they got into mischief together and survived! I know they already met up in Heaven !!! God bless them both. The California Genetti’s

  • Sacramento
  • CA
Alan Higgins said : Guest Report Jul 13, 2023 at 7:31 PM

My condolences to Jack's family. I first met Jack at The Church of Our Lady of the Snows. He would attend the 11:30 Mass on weekdays and many times would drive himself. After Mass we would talk Billiken Basketball or Cardinal Baseball. I don't know of a kinder, gentler, man than Jack. I know he is in Heaven.

  • Millstadt
  • Illinois
John Biedenstein said : Guest Report Jul 13, 2023 at 4:42 PM

My condolences to Joan & Nick, I will miss seeing you both riding the coattails of Mr Genetti (SLU HOFer) at Chaifetz. My prayers for your family. God Bless and may Mr Genetti soul RIP.

  • Kirkwood
  • MO
Tom Genetti said : Guest Report Jul 13, 2023 at 11:47 AM

Words are hard to find. As a member of the first family as I always referred to this branch of the Genetti’s My deepest condolences. I will remember Jack as a kind warm hearted person.May he sit in Gods eternal light. Tom Genetti-Vernon’s son.

  • St. Louis
  • Mo
Randy Willard said : Guest Report Jul 13, 2023 at 10:17 AM

Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.

  • Swansea
  • Il
KATHLEEN WOLF said : Guest Report Jul 13, 2023 at 9:50 AM

My deep sympathy to the Genetti family. I knew Jack through my college roommate, Mary Ann. I admired his kind, gentle presence. His life was that of a giving servant. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

  • Ottawa
  • IL
Christy Orlet said : Guest Report Jul 11, 2023 at 4:03 PM

An appropriate tribute to Mr. Genetti is worthy of a thousand words- I only knew him to be a very sweet, smart, kind, generous and gentle man. His limitless charitable works positively affected countless lives. He lived life well~ We’ll miss him~

  • Portland
  • OR
Vivian Sierra said : Guest Report Jul 11, 2023 at 3:31 PM

My condolences to the entire Genetti family. What a wonderful husband, father, friend and human being. He showed me how to be gentle, kind and humble by example. What a beautiful soul that received in heaven. I am sorry for your loss. I appreciate what a good friend he was to my Dad.

  • St. Louis
  • MO

Add Public Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.