ILION – Mr. John R. Des Champs, age 78, a lifelong area resident, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 8, 2022, after an extended illness. Born on August 24, 1943, in Herkimer, John was the son of the late Carl and Mary (Long) Des Champs. He was raised and educated locally and was a graduate of Herkimer High School. On August 7, 1965, John was wed to the former Mary Carole Bentley at Annunciation Church in Ilion and together they shared in a blessed and devoted union of over fifty-six years. John proudly served his country with the United States Army during the Vietnam Era and subsequently was an active member of the National Guard for twelve years. He remained an ardent patriot throughout his days and was a lifetime member of the Ilion/Frankfort VFW Post 502. In his younger years, John was employed for various companies, including the NEHI bottling company and Chicago Pneumatic, before working at Remington Arms in Ilion where he was employed as a machinist for over thirty years, until his retirement in 2006. John’s hobbies consisted of hunting, fishing, camping and enjoying the beauty of nature in Upstate New York; often taking camping trips with his family through the years to Raquette Lake and other places, ultimately ending up at the Edgewater Campground in Sylvan Beach. He enjoyed these simple times with his loved ones and nothing gave him greater joy than the time spent with his beloved wife, children and grandchildren. John was very active in Boy Scouts throughout the years, starting off as one himself before eventually becoming a Scout Leader as an adult. He was a handyman and jack-of-all-trades as well as an avid NASCAR fan. He was of the Catholic faith and a longtime parishioner of the Church of the Annunciation in Ilion. John is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Carole; and by his children, J. Rob and Christina Des Champs of South Mills, North Carolina, Matthew and Marianne Des Champs of Holly Ridge, North Carolina, Kelly and Walter Slentz of Rockport, Texas, Carole Franklin of Utica and Daniel Mark George Des Champs and Mellisa Martin of Waxahachie, Texas; his grandchildren, John D. Des Champs, Zachary Bunn, Kyle Bunn, Shelby M. Des Champs, Shannon N. Bunn, Anthony M. Cerio, Timothy J. Cerio and Kristyn, Merissa Cerio, Joshua K. Fabrey, Matthew S. Des Champs, Megan L. Des Champs and Brandon, Nicole R. Franklin and Ethan Yellott; and his great-grandchildren, Macie, Lillie, Sophia, William, Bentley John, Mason, Riley and Bentley Ryan. He also leaves his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Janet Des Champs of Ancram, NY; his in-laws, Thomas and Mary Bentley of Frankfort and Judith Bentley of Clinton; his Godchildren, Jennifer, Megan and Eric; along with numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and friends. Aside from his parents, John was predeceased by an infant daughter, Mary Margaret Des Champs, and by his brother-in-law, George Edward Bentley. John’s Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 10:30AM at Annunciation Church in Ilion, followed by interment with full military honors in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Clinton. For those wishing to do so, please consider memorial contributions to the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, 507 Kent Street, Utica, NY 13501 OR to the Ilion/Frankfort VFW Post 502, 4274 Acme Road, Frankfort, NY 13340. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. John’s family has entrusted his final wishes to the Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home, Harry and Kevin Enea and Martin L. Ciaccia, Funeral Directors.