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John H. Verkler

January 9, 1920 April 10, 2015
John H. Verkler
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Obituary for John H. Verkler

PEORIA - John H Verkler, 95, of Peoria, passed away at 8:53 p.m. Friday, April 10, 2015, at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, where he entered into eternity. John was born on Jan. 9, 1920, in Peoria to the late John Sr. and Zena (England) Verkler. He was the third of five sons. He married “the captain of his team,” Dorothy “Jane” Thornton, on Nov. 27, 1948, at St. Patrick Cathedral in Decatur, Ill. She preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his son, Thornton "Louie" Verkler; one granddaughter, Karissa Verkler; and four brothers, Bob, Charles, Louis, and Jim. Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Veronica Verkler of Peoria, Connie (Don) Farquharson of Punta Gorda, Fla., Julie (Doug) Baughman of East Peoria, and Anne (Leonard) Hilbert of Peoria; his sons, John (Laura) Verkler of Pasadena, Calif., and Andrew (Sara) Verkler of Mapleton; daughter in-law and widow to Louie, Betty Verkler of Sheboygan, Wisc.; 14 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many loved nieces and nephews. A 1938 graduate of Peoria High School, John worked three years in the parts service offices of Caterpillar. He was drafted into the US Army Air Corp on Oct. 14, 1941, proudly serving his country in WWII as a staff sergeant on the North African and Sicilian front until being honorably discharged on Oct. 14, 1945, a day he celebrated annually. He owned and operated many business ventures starting with Verkler Bros Diamond T Dealership alongside brother Bob Verkler in Decatur, where he met and married Jane. Relocating to Waukegan, Ill., he owned another Diamond T dealership. Returning to Peoria, he became secretary/treasurer at V-P Motor Truck Company. As his family grew larger, he partnered with brother, Jim, owning and operating Verkler GMC dealership and Verkler Truck Leasing. John was a member of First United Methodist Church, the Creve Coeur Club and Pekin Country Club, where he was an avid golfer accomplishing three holes-in-one. Along with his love of golf and photography, John shared with us his love of gardening, carpentry, animals, genealogy, and music. Among a host of memories of John were his regular visits with family members and friends, many car rides in the country, cookouts, and his wonderful sense of humor. He continued to "maintain Jane" traveling to Punta Gorda, Florida, and visiting the beaches together. We are thankful to have had him in our lives for so many years and commend him to the One who gave him to us. A funeral service will be at noon, Friday, April 17, 2015, at First United Methodist Church. Pastor Bob Phillips will officiate. Visitation will be two hours prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Parkview Cemetery. Wright & Salmon Mortuary is handling the arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Greater Peoria Honor Flight. Friends may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com.

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