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Thomas Rena

February 15, 1946 July 3, 2016
Thomas Rena
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Obituary for Thomas Rena

Thomas "Ziggy" James Rena, 70, of East Peoria, IL went to be with the Lord Jesus Christ on July 3, 2016 while surrounded by his family at his home after ending his journey with lung cancer. His devotion to his family and his firm belief and faith in Christ gave him strength and peace during his struggle. He was greeted in heaven by his wife, Erma, and his parents Angelo and Kathryn (Ricca) Rena and step-father Dominic "Sport" Gallianetti as well as many other family and friends.

He was born in Chicago, IL, the only child of Angelo and Kathryn Rena. At the young age of 6, his father passed away. His mother Kathryn raised him alone until the age of 14 when she remarried to Dominic "Sport" Gallianetti who he greatly admired and respected.

In 1979 he married Erma (Galloway) Rena; together they raised four children who he cherished and loved deeply of which all survive: Tammy (Terry) Redshaw of Peoria, Tommy (Anne) Rena of Bloomington, Theresa (Danny) Parson of East Peoria, and Barbara (Fred) Bauer of Louisville, KY, along with 11 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

In his younger years he attended barber school in Peoria IL. He worked as a barber most of his life. He also worked as a bread delivery driver for Sunbeam, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and retired after 30 years from Peoria Journal Star.

His hobbies included golfing, fishing, darts, and bowling. He was an avid LA Dodgers fan and Washington Redskins fan. In 2015 he received a letter from Tommy Lasorda, Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Dodgers, thanking Tom for his support and letting him know that the Dodgers were now rooting for him to win the battle against cancer. The thing he loved to do the most was snowbird 13 years in Winter Haven, FL where he gained many lifelong friends.

His sense of humor could always make one laugh - thanking his kids for "letting him out in public" and commenting to waitresses that dinner was "Terrible...Just Terrible". He often would say in good humor, "I used to be 6'2" but Erma hit me with a frying pan and now I'm 5'10".

He always had a wonderful smile and great attitude. If you asked him how he was feeling, he would say "No sense complaining" and "A hundred years from now you would never know the difference".

He was a great role model and wonderful example of the Christian walk. He was a member of Highview Church of God in Washington, IL.

Celebration of Life visitation will be Saturday, July 9, 10am-1pm followed by services at 1pm at Highview Church of God, Washington, IL officiated by Pastor Brent Farmer. Private family burial after services. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contribution memorials be made to Highview Church of God or OSF Hospice Peoria, IL.

Family requests those who attend to wear their favorite sports or LA Dodgers apparel.

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