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Obituaries are so much more than a public notice that a friend or loved one has passed away.

Ralph H. Shoemaker

9/7/1927 - 12/1/2019

PEORIA ~ Ralph H. Shoemaker, 92, of Peoria passed away peacefully at 10:05 a.m. Sunday, December 1, 2019 at his home, where he had been under the care of his loving family. 

Born on September 7, 1927 in Weaubleau, Missouri to Orville C. and Zelma O. (Hammond) Shoemaker. He married Betty Hornbuckle (Sebree) on May 21, 1955 in Peoria.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years; son, Greg (Mera) Shoemaker of Peoria; daughters, Jill (Jay) Arnold of Peoria, Joy (Michael) Vallosio of Mapleton; stepchildren, George (Gail) Sebree of Canton, Jann (Scott) Baker of Belleville, and (Margo) Sebree of Canton; 26 grandchildren; 56 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; sister, Jeanne Domnick of Peoria; brother-in-law, Gordon (Rosalee) Hornbuckle of Murrieta, CA., and stepbrother, Dan Stine of Heber Springs, AR.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Don Domnick; sister-in-law, Helen Stine; and one stepson, Stephen Sebree.

A WWII and Korean War veteran, Ralph served his country in the Coast Guard and the Navy. 

He was a member of the Bartonville VFW Post #3883 and the Peoria County Farm Bureau.

He worked for Caterpillar, Inc. for 35 years where he was a metallurgist supervisor. 

Ralph enjoyed working the farm and raising cattle. He had a tender spot for all animals whether they were his pet poodles or wild creatures he found along the way. He loved working his land where he knew every tree and gulley. There wasn’t much he couldn’t do on his old Farmall tractor. He enjoyed family time at the pond with his children and grandchildren. He was well traveled, seeing many historical places from far away Egypt, the Panama Canal, Alaska and Russia, to visiting the Lincoln Museum in Springfield last month.

He was a member of the Cherry Grove Baptist Church in Kansas. His local church was The Cross Baptist Church in Pekin. 

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday, December 6, 2019 at The Cross Baptist Church in Pekin.  Pastor Jay Arnold will officiate.  Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday also at the church. An additional hour of visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday, prior to the service.  Burial will be in Maple Ridge Cemetery in Mapleton, with military rites accorded by the United States Navy and Glasford American Legion Post #35. Pastor Scott Baker will officiate the graveside service. 

Memorial contributions may be made to The Cross Baptist Church, 4201 Edgewater Dr, Pekin, IL 61554, Victory Acres of Peoria Rescue Ministries, 9015 W McCullough Rd, Peoria, IL 61607, or Timber Hollis Fire Department 401 S Glasford Rd, Glasford, IL 61533.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes and Crematory in Pekin.

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