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Victor D. Burnett

September 5, 1931 October 7, 2022
Victor D. Burnett
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Obituary for Victor D. Burnett

PEORIA – Victor David Burnett, of Peoria, IL, died peacefully on Friday, October 7, 2022, at Heritage Health of Chillicothe at ninety-one years old.

Beloved local celebrity and broadcaster, Vic was dedicated to serving the city of Peoria and the community he loved. He was born on September 5, 1931, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Dorothy Elizabeth (Dwyer) and Victor Thomas Burnett.

His life of performing began as a child in St. Louis. When his father placed him on a local bar countertop to sing — patrons applauded and tossed coins at his feet. He never stopped performing. Vic served in the United States Air Force from 1951 – 1955. He attended the University of Iowa, receiving a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, with a minor in Broadcasting & Communications.

On April 19, 1952, Vic married the love of his life, Helen Patricia (Pat) (Vannice) Burnett in West Liberty, Iowa. Vic and Pat enjoyed 66 years of marriage before her birth into eternal life on August 22, 2018. Vic and Pat’s greatest joy was their family — 11 children, 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Vic began his broadcasting career at Peoria’s NBC affiliate, WEEK-TV Channel 25, as a floor director. He was promoted to production manager from 1959 to 1964 (good thing, with 10 kids at home to feed). He then stepped into the role he was best known for as on-air local weathercaster until 1976. His signature sign-off at the end of the weather broadcast was, “Good night, and God bless.” His deep and comforting voice was often the last thing people would hear on the television before turning in for the night.

Vic is survived by his daughter-in-law Ann Burnett; son Rick (Patti Moehle) Burnett, son Terry Burnett, daughter Viki Burnett, son Kelly (Anita) Burnett, son Chris (Connie) Burnett, daughter Lisa Burnett, daughter Val Berry, son Johnny (Susan) Burnett of Mount Prospect, IL, and daughter Jenny (Bob) Parkhurst. Almost all of the children stayed in Illinois and the Peoria area to be close to family. Also surviving is his sister Betsy Burnett Belanger, and her daughter Kari Belanger (Ryan Boeckman) of St. Louis, MO. He was preceded in death by his son Patrick Leo Burnett in 1962, his eldest son Marc Victor Burnett in 2012, grandson-in-law Beau Edward Grant in 2012, his wife Pat Burnett in 2018, his brother Robert (Bob) Burnett in 2008, and his parents.

Also surviving are his grandchildren Ty (Margaret) Burnett, Van (Alyssa) Burnett, Stephanie (Brett) Bergman, Bethany Phelan (Chris Hueramo), Corey Stoughton (Nick Conway), Dave Stoughton (April Antonellis), Tim Higle, Tony Higle, Jessie Grant, Elise (Kyle) Stokes, Kristen (Joe) Winkler, Clare Zell, Mary Zell, Sam (Cassie) Berry, Jake Berry, Connor Parkhurst and Pauline Parkhurst. Vic’s great-grandchildren are Cooper and Carter Bergman, Kyler, Brenna and Brynley Phelan, Marcus and Hughie Conway, Milo Stoughton, Eddie and Audrey Grant, Everly Stokes, Colin Winkler, Olivia, Matthew, Annabelle, and Penelope Berry.

Vic's community involvement spanned decades, including volunteer work at Peoria Players Theatre, Corn Stock Theatre (CST), Illinois Opera, Friends of Clonmel, Broadway Theatre League, Peoria Chamber of Commerce, Project Concern (Walk for Mankind), Yule Like Peoria, Cursillo-TEC, and countless more. He served on the board of directors for CST, directed and produced local theatre productions, and produced and hosted radio talk shows. Vic was “the voice” of Corn Stock Theatre, recording pre-show announcements for decades. He appeared in Central Illinois Ballet’s The Nutcracker as Father Christmas for 11 consecutive years.

Vic’s favorite pastime was emceeing local events. He served as co-host for the first three years of the St. Jude Telethon with former Mayor Jim Maloof. Vic was honored to emcee the Peoria Journal Star‘s Annual Spelling Bee for many years. He managed Peoria Riverfront’s Steamboat Days, and executive produced Peoria 2000 and Peoria’s official millennial celebration at the Peoria Civic Center arena. He received the ArtsPartner’s Person of the Year award in 2010.

Above all, Vic was a man of faith.

Vic was a devout Catholic who served as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at Sacre Coeur, St. Mark’s and Holy Family Churches. When asked, he said his greatest accomplishment was instilling faith and kindness in his children and their children. He was a long-time member of Holy Family Church in Peoria. The Burnett family extends special thanks to the staff at Grand Recency, Heritage Health of Chillicothe, Dr. John Shallat, and countless family caregivers.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, October 9 at 3:00pm until 6:00 pm at Holy Family Church, 2329 W Reservoir Blvd. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, October 10 at 11:00am at Holy Family Church, with Fr. Greg Jozefiak officiating. Military honor guard to follow in the brick garden. A private burial service will be accorded at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in West Peoria, IL, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions and condolence cards may be sent to The Burnett Family at 2810 N. Elmcroft Drive, Peoria, IL, 61604 or online condolences at

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3:00 PM 10/9/2022 3:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 10/9/2022 6:00:00 PM
Holy Family Catholic Church

3720 N Sterling Ave
Peoria, IL 61615

Holy Family Catholic Church
3720 N Sterling Ave Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Funeral Mass




11:00 AM 10/10/2022 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 10/10/2022 12:00:00 PM
Holy Family Catholic Church

3720 N Sterling Ave
Peoria, IL 61615

Holy Family Catholic Church
3720 N Sterling Ave Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

The Burnett Family

2810 N Elmcroft Dr
Peoria, IL 61604

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