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

Daniel J. Svendsen

5/27/1934 - 12/13/2019

PEKIN ~ Daniel James Svendsen, 85, of Pekin, passed away at 1:45 p.m. Friday, December 13, 2019 at Farmington Country Manor in Farmington.

Born May 27, 1934 in Pekin to Knud and Kathryn Louise (Cash) Svendsen, he married Thelma Joanne “Joni” Jacobs on May 18, 1957 in Pekin.  She died December 1, 2004.  He was also preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Yvonne Keyster; and three brothers, Robert Svendsen, Byron Svendsen, and Terry Svendsen.

Surviving are one daughter, Kathy (David) Habenicht of Winthrop Harbor; three sons, Eric Svendsen of Bailey, Colorado, Scott Svendsen of Morton, and Robert (Kelly) Svendsen of Pekin; five grandchildren, Dajn Svendsen, Dylan Svendsen, and Donovan Svendsen, all of Pekin, Nicole Svendsen of Jacksonville, Florida, and Natalie Habenicht of Winthrop Harbor; three great-grandchildren; four brothers, David (Donna) Svendsen, Tom (Sharon) Svendsen, and Mike (Barb) Svendsen, all of Pekin, and John “Jack” Svendsen of Havana; and two sisters, Sonja (Guy) Stanford of Vancouver, B.C. and Margie Baxter of Bend, Oregon.

A United States Navy veteran of the Korean War, he served from August 8, 1952 to August 1, 1956.  He was stationed in the Philippines as a Seabee.

Following his military service, Dan worked with his father’s business, Svendsen Builders.  He later was an insurance agent with Western & Southern Life Insurance Company and Nationwide Insurance Company.  He last worked for Caterpillar, Inc., working in the Safety Department in East Peoria and later working as a graphic design artist at the main office in Peoria, retiring in 1999.

He was a devoted member of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Pekin, where he was a funeral Mass server and was an usher at the Sunday 11 a.m. Mass.  He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus Archbishop Schlarman Council 3507 in Pekin.  He was a supporter of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society Food Pantry and the Appalachian project, both with the church.  Dan and Joni helped out in the past serving holiday meals for the Pekin Township.

Daniel will be remembered for his witty retorts and attempts to inject humor into any conversation, as well as his generosity in helping others in need.  He was a frequent donor to food pantries and other worthy causes.  He was a talented artist and graphic designer/illustrator, and even started his own art design business after his retirement from Caterpillar, where he completed many projects such as signs, vehicle lettering and ads.  He attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

His funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 21, 2019 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Pekin.  Father Michael Andrejek will celebrate the Mass.  Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin, where recitation of the Rosary will be held at 4:15 p.m.  Burial will be at Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Pekin.  Military rites will be accorded by the United States Navy and the Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team.

Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 303 South 7th Street, Pekin, IL 61554 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Midwest Affiliate, 530 Northeast Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, IL  61637. 

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