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Julian Smith

January 27, 1928 September 26, 2011
Julian Smith
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Obituary for Julian Smith

Julian J. Smith 83, of Pekin, Illinois passed away on Monday September 26, 2011 at his residence. He was born January 27, 1928, in Springfield, Illinois to John P. and Mary Smith. He married Eve M. McCaskey on October 7, 1950. She preceded him in death on January 18, 2008. They had three children, Richard J. Smith of Santa Rosa, Texas, Mark K. (and Mary) Smith of Pekin, Illinois and Stephanie (and Brad) Spencer of Harsens Island, Michigan, who survive along with five grandchildren, Christopher Smith of Dallas, Texas, Genevieve Smith of San Antonio, Texas, Tony Smith of Camp Grove, Illinois, Matt Smith of Pekin, Illinois and Teresa Spencer of Harsens Island, Michigan. He was an Army veteran of World War II having served in MacArthur’s Far East Command headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. In his early life he was a reporter and state editor at the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois. He covered the first several weeks of the Adlai Stevenson presidential campaign in 1952 before joining Caterpillar. He retired from Caterpillar in 1987 after 35 years of service in product support management. Active in civic affairs, he was elected one of the first aldermen at large in Marquette Heights, Illinois. He served one term before moving to Pekin, Illinois. He was a member of the District 303 High School board for eight years, serving two terms as president. He was elected to the Regional Board of School trustees and was president of that board for a number of years. He was a member of the steering committee for the campaign to combine campuses of Pekin High School. He was active in youth sports activity for many years umpiring in the Little Chinks, Pony and Colt leagues. For many years, he conducted an individual scratch tournament for the Pekin Bowling Association. He was captain of the 1966 Pekin Bowling Association team champions. Julian served on the original Pekin Marigold Festival Executive committee and conducted the contests that produced drawings that eventually were used for the Pekin city flag. He was a member of the Bicentennial Sub-Committee that established Constitution Garden in Peoria and continued to serve on the advisory committee after the garden was established. He was a member of the American Rose Society and the Greater Peoria Rose Society. He won a number of awards for rose blooms in local and national competition. He was an accredited rose judge and master rosarian. He was active at the local, district and national levels of ARS, serving two years as chairman of a national publications committee. He was awarded the Bronze and Silver Honor medals of ARS. His interest in horticultural was not limited to roses. He served 17 years as a University of Illinois Master Gardener, receiving state recognition on two occasions. He was involved in the culture of orchids and enjoyed giving blooms to friends. During summers he was busy with a vegetable garden from which he provided fresh produce to St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry. He was a former member, past president and former Senior Golf Champion of Pekin Country Club. He started a program at Pekin Country Club that resulted in the planting of more than 700 trees on the golf course. A member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, he served as an usher for many years. He was an active participant in Relay for Life. A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday September 29, 2011 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pekin, Illinois at 11 am with visitation from 9:30 am to 11 am at the church. Fr. Timothy Nolan will officiate. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Pekin, Illinois. Memorials in his name may be made to St. Joseph Catholic School in Pekin, Illinois.

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