Naperville resident Jack Stenger was a fifth generation Naperville resident, World War II Navy veteran, fisherman, and music lover.
“I got to know Jack in high school,” said longtime friend Ted Fredenhagen. “Jack always had a lot of friends – that was his personality.”
Historic Naperville Family
The Stenger family founded the Stenger Brewery in the late 1800s, which produced up to 17,000 barrels of beer a year and contributed to the early growth of Naperville.
Jack worked in multiple industries during his life, but is best known for his successful real estate career which spanned more than 50 years. Jack helped create ERA-Naper Realty which still operates in Naperville today.
Fredenhagen recalled meeting Jack as freshmen or sophomores at Naperville High School.
“I had a band so right away I grabbed Jack and put him in my band,” he said. “Much later on, after the service, in 1946 I formed a Big Band and right away looked up Jack Stenger and Bob Rice. And the three of us were the trumpet section of our Big Band.”
When Jack moved into Tabor Hills Retirement Community in 2010, that love of music continued. There, he formed a new group called “Jack and his Pals”, which entertained with Big Band music at Tabor Hills and other retirement communities in the area.
“He was a good team player”
“Whether it was public service or whatever he did, you could count on the guy. He was a real hard worker,” said Fredenhagen. “I think we’ll always remember Jack as being very personable. He was a good team player.”
Jack died at his home on November 7 at the age of 95.
Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Home will host a private service due to COVID-19 restrictions, though a celebration of Jack’s life will be held at a later date.
Memorials in his name can be made to the Naperville Heritage Society.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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