Juan Reyes: from migrant worker to self-made entrepreneur


Juan H. Reyes, 78, of Rockton, IL, started his working career as a migrant worker and traveled across states. Juan heard of job opportunities in Rockford, IL, which lead him to become employed by Elco Industries for 36 years. He was a self-made entrepreneur, owning numerous properties. He owned a bar in Poplar Grove called Stage One Cantina. He was also the owner of Reyes Landscaping. Juan was a successful self-made handyman; he passed his legacies and knowledge on to his family. He was also a proud Tejano musician, playing the accordion.

Juan passed away on Sunday, October 2, 2022 in his home. He was born on March 8, 1944 in Tamaulipas, Mexico, the son of Pablo and Maria De La Luz (Hernandez) Reyes. Juan married Maria Reyes on February 22, 1965 in Texas. 

Survivors include his wife, Maria Reyes of Rockton, IL; children, Martin (Maria “Araceli”) Reyes of Loves Park, IL and Martha (Israel) Mejia of South Beloit, IL; grandchildren, Heath, Eric, Vicky, Martin, Tony, Juan, Ceasar and Miguel; 14 great grandchildren; brother, Lupe (Rosa) Reyes; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, brothers, and a sister.

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial for Juan will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 in St. Thomas Catholic Church, 824 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, WI. Visitation of remembrance will follow, from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. in the church.

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