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Richard A. Schwebel

October 14, 1942 July 15, 2014
Richard A. Schwebel
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Obituary for Richard A. Schwebel

PEORIA - Richard A. Schwebel, 71, of Peoria passed away at 4:25 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at home with his wife at his side. Dick was born October 14, 1942, in Vandalia, Ill., to Raymond and Minnie (Van Cloostere) Schwebel. He married Marjorie A. Hoffer on June 1, 1963, at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Morton, Ill. He was preceded in death by his parents and by one son, Jeffrey A. Schwebel, November 22, 2001. Surviving are his wife, Marjorie; their children, Todd Schwebel of Chicago, Monica Orr of Fox Point, Wis., Scott (Alexis) Schwebel of Shorewood, Wis., and Brian Schwebel of Shorewood, Wis.; six grandchildren, Sean and Caroline Orr, Noah and Cole Schwebel, and August and Colette Schwebel; one brother, Raymond J. (Barbara) Schwebel; two nieces, Theresa (Mike) Sulentic and Julie (Tom) Arndorfer; and six great-nieces and nephews, Sarah (Mike) Bal, Becky Sulentic, Joseph Sulentic, Katie Arndorfer, John Arndorfer, and David Arndorfer. Dick’s ancestry traced back to the founding of America and the state of Illinois. He was a direct descendant of Sir Thomas Goffe, the first royal Vice-Governor of Massachusetts and of Foster David Reynolds, who arrived in Illinois in the 1790s. This founding family produced Illinois’ 4th Governor, John Reynolds, and other representatives and elected officials. Dick was a recipient of a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizens Award during his senior year at Holy Trinity High School in Bloomington, Ill. Dick graduated from Bradley University with a BS and an MBA. His successful career in American industry spanned almost 50 years. He began at WABCO (now Komatsu) and Caterpillar in Peoria; served in senior executive positions at J.I. CASE in Racine, Wis. and CESSNA AIRCRAFT in Wichita, Kans.; and was CEO at BOMAG and COMPACTION AMERICA in Springfield, Ohio, and CEDARAPIDS, INC. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In semi-retirement, Dick consulted for PALADIN BRANDS, where he worked on important war projects in the Middle East. Known as “Mr. Marketing” in the construction equipment field, Dick developed programs emulated industry-wide. He was instrumental in creating the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association (CIMA), which produces the largest trade show in America, and served as an officer on its Board. He developed the J.I. CASE Excavator Rodeo and created the CESSNA Hangar 10 shops, capturing America’s fascination with flying. Dick served on the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Board of Directors, where he focused on the nationwide high-speed rail initiative, in addition to serving on the Board of the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA). Dick was highly involved in civic organizations, including the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity, which he co-founded at Bradley University; president of the Newman Club at Bradley University; the Father Raho Council Knights of Columbus, which he co-founded in Morton, Ill.; the West Racine Kiwanis, which he co-founded in Racine, Wis.; Marty’s Men’s Retreat at the Siena Center, which he co-founded with Fr. Martin Pable in Racine, Wis.; Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in Springfield, Ohio; Junior Achievement Board of Directors and originator of the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Ohio; commissioner on the City of Peoria Heart of Peoria Commission; commissioner on the City of Peoria Planning Commission; and the Peoria Historical Society Board of Directors. Dick was also a member of the Greater Peoria Rose Society, Caper’s Club and the Moss-Bradley Residential Association. In 2009, he was the recipient of a mayoral proclamation from Mayor Jim Ardis for his outstanding service to his community. Most especially, Dick served on the Board of Directors of Children’s Oncology Services, Inc. (COSI) in Chicago, which sends more than 400 children with cancer to camp each summer at Lake Geneva, Wis., to which the Jeffrey A. Schwebel Memorial Foundation is a major contributor. Despite the demands of professional, civic and family life, Dick was never too busy to serve as a leader of the Cub Scouts or Indian Guides, sponsor an immigrant for citizenship or assist with Mass at his parish. He courageously battled cancer for 14 years and, in 2009, underwent a stem cell transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital under the renowned care of Dr. Jayesh Mehta. A funeral Mass will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19, 2014, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 504 Fulton Street in Peoria. Franciscan Fathers will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 18, 2014, at Wright and Salmon Mortuary, with a scripture service at 8 p.m. Private interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jeffrey A. Schwebel Memorial Foundation, 4129 N. Prospect Ave., Shorewood, WI 53211or Heartland Festival Orchestra in Peoria. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon.com.

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