RONALD E. PECHACEK, 63, of Chester, Illinois, passed away at 11:55 p.m., Monday, June 12, 2017 at Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri.
He was the second child of Alvin Edward and Donna Mae (nee Kusilek) Pechacek on July 28, 1953 in River Falls, Wisconsin.
He married Pamela K. DuFrenne on July 14, 1976 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Red Bud and they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year.
Ron was a funeral director for over 40 years. He started work at Dashner Funeral Home in Red Bud in 1976.
In 1984, he went to work for the Welge Funeral Home in Chester and purchased the business in 1990.
He owned and operated the Welge-Pechacek Funeral Home in Red Bud and Evansville and Pechacek-McClure Funeral Home in Chester for the past 27 years. He served families in these communities with the utmost professionalism and caring and touched many people's' lives.
He said many times that he loved what he did.
He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chester, where he served as a Eucharistic minister and was on the cemetery committee.
Ron was very active in both the Red Bud and Chester Communities. In Red Bud, he belonged to the Jaycees, the Red Bud Fire Department and the Optimist Club.
He served on the board of the Chamber of Commerce. In Chester, Ron was very active in the Chester Country Club, serving on the board, chairing tournaments and organizing special fundraising events.
He served on the boards of Memorial Hospital since 2009 and Buena Vista National Bank since 2005. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus No. 3790, the Eagles Club Aerie No. 3252, the Lions, and the Chester Chamber of Commerce.
In the fall of 2016, Ron and his wife Pam were honored by the Diocese of Belleville with the "Faith in the Marketplace" award, recognizing seven people who "walk the talk" of faith in their everyday lives.
In 2001, Kaskaskia VFW Post 3553 recognized Ron as the "Citizen Of The Year" for service to the community of Chester.
Ron was an avid sports fan, supporting the Chester Yellow Jackets, the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues and the Green Bay Packers.
He attended sports contests as often as possible. Ron loved golf - as a player and as a spectator.
He played in numerous charity tournaments and attended a number of professional golf tournaments, including the PGA, the Masters, and the BMW Classic.
Ron loved people. He was a caring and loving husband and father, and an especially attentive grandfather.
He instigated many good times with family and friends, and those who were in his presence always had fun.
Survivors include wife, Pam Pechacek (Chester); Parents Alvin and Donna Pechacek (River Falls, Wisc.); 2 children, Elizabeth (Jason) Ohlau (Red Bud); Derek (Erin) Pechacek (Columbia, Ill.); 5 grandchildren, Annabeth, Julia and Liam Ohlau, Jackson and Jessa Pechacek; 3 siblings, Galen (Mary Jo) Pechacek (Eagan, Mich.), Cindy (Dennis) Kusilek (River Falls, Wisc.) and Roxy (Jim) Naes (Imperial, Mo.).
Additional survivors include in-laws Don and Audrey DuFrenne (Red Bud); sister-in-law Sherry (Tim) Lowry (Red Bud); two brothers-in-law, Dean DuFrenne (Red Bud), Michael McReynolds (Jupiter, Fla.) and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Ron was preceded in death by his grandparents, Raymond and Pearl Kusilek, and Theodore and Clara Pechacek, and his sister-in-law -- Paula DuFrenne McReynolds.
Funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Chester with The Very Reverent Eugene H. Wojcik, Dennis Schaefer, Carl Sherrer and Father Brett Judkins officiating.
Interment will be held in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Chester. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at Pechacek-McClure Funeral Home in Chester.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ron's memory to his grandchildren's schools - St. John the Baptist Catholic School (Red Bud) or Immaculate Conception School (Columbia, Ill.) or to St. Mary's Catholic School, Chester.