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John P. "Jack" Pearl

August 25, 1926 January 11, 2018
John P. "Jack" Pearl
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Obituary for John P. "Jack" Pearl

John (Jack) Powers Pearl, 91, passed away peacefully at his home in Peoria, Illinois surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 9:40 p.m.

He was born on August 25, 1926 in Philadelphia, PA. He moved with his family to Riverside, IL and attended Riverside Brookfield High School, which he graduated from in 1944. He then enlisted in the United States NAVY serving in Guam and honorably discharging in 1946. He then attended Bradley University with help from the GI Bill. He married Colleen Cassidy on July 5, 1952, his Chi Omega sweetheart, who he met while attending Bradley University. He founded Pearl Companies in 1954 and acted as Chairman for the Peoria Heights-based insurance company for over 65 years. Jack began selling insurance door-to-door in rural communities throughout the greater Peoria area and often joked about his humble beginnings. Known for his business acumen, he developed an innovative partnership with the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and CNA Insurance Company in 1957. This launched Pearl Companies as the leading provider of professional liability insurance in the state, a moniker the company retains today.

The company diversified in 1975, purchasing the local Honda Motor Cycle dealership in Peoria, another spot-on business decision by Jack, which led to the organization of Pearl Automotive, including ownership of Lexus of Peoria, Peoria Toyota, and Autohaus of Peoria. Under his continued leadership, the company has grown to include Pearl Insurance Solutions, Pearl Technology, and Pearl Insurance New York, and employs over 800 individuals.

Jack was active in the insurance profession, serving as a charter member and past president of the American Institute of Professional Association Group Insurance Administrators (AIPAGIA) and a charter member of the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA). He was recognized for his outstanding achievements in business over the years, including the prestigious Master of Mass Marketing award presented by the Mass Marketing Insurance Institute (MI2), the Sigma Chi Significant Sig award, and the second-ever recipient of PIMA's Legend award, recognizing his leadership and longevity in the industry. Jack was an active contributor and volunteer for the Children's Miracle Network and Children's Hospital of Illinois, United Way, Easter Seals, Salvation Army, and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. He set an example and developed a culture of giving within Pearl Companies that continues today.

Even though Jack was not a native Peorian, he considered Peoria his true home and demonstrated this through his investment in the community through his businesses and philanthropic support of local causes.

Jack was preceded in death by his wife, Colleen Cassidy Pearl on May 18, 2000, his parents John Wesley and Mildred Pearl, his sister, Ginger Rump, and his son-in-law, Tom Whitten.

Jack is survived by his six loving children, Linda (Mike) Kepple of Dunlap, IL, Dr. Greg (Ashley) Pearl of Dallas, TX, Lisa Whitten of Dunlap, IL, Gary (Sarah) Pearl of Peoria, IL, Lesley (Matt) Vonachen of Peoria Heights, IL, and Laurie Pearl of Peoria Heights, IL. He is also survived by his twenty-three grandchildren and his twenty-three great-grandchildren. Papa Jack will be greatly missed by his loving family, friends, and his loyal associates.

The Pearl family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Jerry McShane and the wonderful team of nurses for their tremendous care and compassion.

Visitation will be from 4:00 – 8:00 PM, Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be 10:00 AM, Wednesday, January 17, 2018 with a one hour prior visitation also at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Peoria Heights. Msgr. Jason Gray will officiate and entombment will follow at Resurrection Mausoleum in Peoria.

Donations in his memory can be made to Monsignor Watson Scholarship fund, St. Thomas the Apostle School, and the Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

We love you Dad, thank you.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences to www.wrightandsalmon.com

Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

16

Jan

4:00 PM 1/16/2018 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 1/16/2018 8:00:00 PM
St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

St. Thomas Catholic Church
904 E Lake Ave Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Visitation

Wednesday

17

Jan

9:00 AM 1/17/2018 9:00:00 AM - 10:00 AM 1/17/2018 10:00:00 AM
St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

St. Thomas Catholic Church
904 E Lake Ave Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Funeral Mass

Wednesday

17

Jan

10:00 AM 1/17/2018 10:00:00 AM
St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

St. Thomas Catholic Church
904 E Lake Ave Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Resurrection Cemetery & Mausoleum Final Resting Place

7519 N Allen Rd
Peoria, IL 61614

7519 N Allen Rd Peoria 61614 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Msgr. Watson Scholarship Fund at St. Thomas Catholic Church

St. Thomas Grade School

Children's Hospital of Illinois

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