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Frank Reilly McCabe

June 30, 1927 April 18, 2021
Frank Reilly McCabe
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Obituary for Frank Reilly McCabe

Peoria – Frank Reilly McCabe, 93, of Peoria passed away suddenly on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at his residence

Frank was born on June 30, 1927, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the son of the late Frank J. and Beatrice Reilly McCabe. The family moved to Chicago in 1928 so Mrs. McCabe could make a home for her father, as her mother had passed away in mid 1927. He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Helen Ann Griffin and Mary Cay McCabe, and brother, James T. McCabe, and his son-in-law Gale Neff.

Frank graduated from Chicago’s De La Salle High School in 1945. He received his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from Marquette University in 1950. He was a charter member of Marquette’s Chi Epsilon Fraternity, a civil engineering honorary fraternity. He was also a member of Triangle Fraternity. Frank was 4-year member of the Marquette basketball team, and was a captain of the 1948-49 team. Being in the Cooperative Education Program, he was a five-year student. During his fifth year he played for the Allen Bradley Company team in the National Industrial Basketball League (NIBL). Upon graduation Frank went to work in Alaska for the Bureau of Public Roads. While working on the upgrading and paving of the Alaska Highway he received a phone call offering him a chance to join Caterpillar Tractor Company who also had a team in the NIBL. He joined Caterpillar on September 1, 1950, as a Staff Engineer in the Plant Engineering Department. He played on the Caterpillar team for 4 years. He was chosen as an AAU All American all 4 years. The Caterpillar team were National AAU Champs the last 3 years he played. In 1952 the Cat team won the AAU Championship and then won the Olympic Trials in New York City. Team Coach Warren Womble became the USA Olympic Team head coach. The starting five, of which Frank was one, were named to the 1952 Olympic team. They played 8 games in Helsinki, Finland, winning them all. They beat the Russians twice, earning Olympic gold medals.

After the four years of basketball Frank felt it was time to change his career path by switching to the marketing side of Caterpillar. One of the benefits of the switch was meeting Suzanne Brodbeck. She was a Peoria native and a fellow Caterpillar employee. They were married October 1, 1955 at St. Philomena Church in Peoria.

Frank was appointed the Caterpillar Earthmoving Representative on the St. Lawrence Seaway Project in upstate New York. So Sue and Frank moved to Syracuse, NY, where they enjoyed snow fall like they’d never seen before! While covering the Seaway, Frank was involved with the Calvin Production Co. filming of a movie for Caterpillar named “The Eight Sea” narrated by Walter Cronkite. As the Seaway project wound down he used his civil engineering education working with contractors on the Niagara Falls Power Project.

During the 40 years plus spent with Caterpillar, Frank worked in many areas, including Plant Engineering, Sales Training, Domestic Sales, Sales Development, and Corporate Accounts. The time spent in the field working with customers and dealers on machine application earned him The Golden Beaver Award received in 1989. Only two other Caterpillar employees have been so honored. They are Bill Blackie in 1972 and Don Fites in 1999. Both were Caterpillar Chairmen at the time of their awards.

Since retiring January 1, 1991 Frank has kept busy as an election judge for 23 years, Catholic Cemetery Board member for 12 years, USPO Customer Advisory Council member 18 years, Chairman of the Peoria Liquor Commission for 21 years, and as a Team Host during March Madness 15 times, to name a few of his activities. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus for a few years where he served as Treasurer and Bingo Caller.

He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Sue; their five children, Ray McCabe of Aledo, Texas, Erin Neff of Peoria, Tom (Marilyn) McCabe of Lewis Center, Ohio, Scott (Kathy) McCabe of Old Hickory, Tenn., and Kelly Skinner of Bolingbrook, IL; twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Church, 6001 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61614, where a funeral Mass will be held on Friday April 23, 2021 at 12:00 PM with a visitation prior starting at 10:30 AM until time of funeral Mass at the church. Fr. Patrick Henehan will officiate. Private entombment will be in Resurrection Mausoleum.

Memorials in Frank’s honor may be made to American Diabetes Association or Carton Vocation for Seminary Recruitment.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or leave their private condolences by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

23

Apr

10:30 AM 4/23/2021 10:30:00 AM - 12:00 PM 4/23/2021 12:00:00 PM
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

6001 N University St
Peoria, IL 61614

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
6001 N University St Peoria 61614 IL
United States

Funeral Mass

Friday

23

Apr

12:00 PM 4/23/2021 12:00:00 PM
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

6001 N University St
Peoria, IL 61614

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
6001 N University St Peoria 61614 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

American Diabetes Association

Carton Vocation Fund for Seminarians

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