Gracia “Grace” Banez Caras, 78, passed away on November 19, 2022 in South Elgin, Illinois, and was a former resident of Milan, Illinois, for 25 years. There will be a visitation from 4-8:00 PM on Monday, November 28, 2022 at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Milan. Visitation will continue from 9-10 AM on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Milan with the funeral Mass following at 10 AM. The service may be viewed via live-stream by visiting: https://vimeo.com/event/2639436. If unable to watch live, the recorded version can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/qclivestreaming/grace-caras. Burial at Calvary Cemetery, Rock Island.
Grace was born in 1944 in the Philippines, the youngest daughter of four children of the late Attorney Jose T. Viduya and Gertrudis, nee Manaloto, Viduya. She grew up in Manila, Philippines, and graduated from Santa Isabel College.
In 1969, she married Renato C. Banez in St. Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines. As a young widow, Grace and her daughter immigrated to the United States. In 1978, she married Ernie Y. Caras, Sr. in Chicago, Illinois. Grace retired from the State of Illinois with over 20 years of service. She enjoyed ballroom dancing and traveling with Ernie, Sr. as well as being part of a blended family with Ernie Sr.’s eight children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was an active member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Milan, singing in the choir and volunteer baking for church activities and for St. Anthony’s Nursing and Rehab Center in Rock Island. She enjoyed playing the piano and occasionally guitar, baking, planting flowers/plants, aerobics/Jazzercise, and spending time with family, friends and neighbors. As a retired widow, Grace relocated to the Chicago suburbs closer to her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. She spent time with her granddaughters with their school programs, sporting events, church activities, music programs and all aspects of their lives. She continued to be part of the local church in the choir and truly enjoyed volunteer baking for the church and Filipino ministries for the feast of San Lorenzo and Simbang Gabi. When she is not baking or with her granddaughters, she enjoyed watching old movies, TV shows, reading People magazine, listening to different genres of music as well as connecting with friends and relatives.
Grace is survived by her stepson Napoleon (Alma) Caras of Viola and step-grandsons David, Joseph, and Benjamin Caras; and stepsons Edward, Michael, Ernie Jr. and their extended families; and stepdaughters Florence, Elizabeth, Arcie, and their extended families; daughter Norma (Steven) of Lake In the Hills, and granddaughters Jaclyn and Julia; nieces Nina Viduya, Maria Burkholder, Josephine Viduya, and Julie Viduya; and nephews Jerico Cayanan and Joseph Viduya.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Beatriz “Betty” Cayanan, brothers Salvador and Jose M. Viduya, husbands, a stepdaughter, Maria Caras Till, and a stepgranddaughter, Hadassah Caras.
Grace was much loved by her family and friends, who will miss her dearly. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to her family, if desired.