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John J. Venegas

November 24, 1962 February 6, 2017
John J.  Venegas
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Peoria-After a valiant six-month fight with cancer, I, John J. Venegas, found peace and comfort on February 6, 2017, with my sister, Michelle by my side and “Kumbaya – My Lord” playing in the background. Not a bad way to go out.

I was born on November 24, 1962, to Manuel “CoCo” and Sunaie “Susie” (Lee) Venegas in Spring Valley, Illinois. I was their favorite kid and I loved them so much.

Upon graduating from DePue High School in 1980, I served in the U.S. Army and in the U.S. Air Force. In my civilian life, I worked for Bell Helicopter, FedEx, and owned and operated U.S. #1 Taco in Streator. My parents might have sold the most but I sold the best. I worked for Haliburton/KBR during Operation Iraqi Freedom, stationed at Camp Slayer from 2003-2005. I joined the TZP Railroad in 2006 in large part because I wanted to be around Lauren and Aidan but also because trains are cool.

I tried my best never to disappoint my parents. I always tried to help others out if I could. I always remembered my prayers even though I didn’t go to church. I liked to shoot pool, shoot hoops and shoot the shit. I never met a stranger and I bet you never met anyone like me. Some might say I was picky but I’d like to think I was just particular and maybe a little OCD. I tried my best. Try your best. And remember, the Big Man is always watching.

If you know me, you know I was blessed with the gift of gab but I want to keep this short especially if they charge by the word.

Much love to my sister, Michelle and her old man, Jeremy DellaValle. Between his family and their friends, I know she and the twins will be okay. Missy: I’m sorry I had to leave you but just like Pops would say, “You got to take the bitter with the sweet.” I love you Lauren and Aidan. More than words.

John was preceded in death by both his parents, his daughter, Toni-Lee Venegas, a nephew and niece, Ryan and Avery DellaValle, and his brother, Mike.

Special thanks to Sue & Dick DellaValle, Joy & Stephen Morris, Kelli & Chris Everett, Abbie & Ryan Rockhold, the TZP Crew, Molly & Steve Burroughs, Teresa Young, Bryanna Heath, Holly Wilinski, Jane Omahen, Trinity Compassionate Care, Dr. Dejan Maksimovic and the OSF Access Clinic staff, Dr. Michael Veeder at Illinois Cancer Center, and Dr. Patricia Deters and the incredible staff at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home who made my last days easier.

Memorial contributions can be made to the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate or to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund. Cancer sucks. Cancer for kids sucks even more.

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Memorial Contribution

St. Jude Midwest Affiliate

Fanconi Anemia Research Fund

1801 Willamette St # 200
Eugene, OR 97401, or 97401

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