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Patrick M. Reel

June 10, 1945 August 16, 2021
Patrick M. Reel
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Obituary for Patrick M. Reel
Patrick M. Reel, 76, of Peoria, IL, passed away peacefully at the Richard Owens Hospice Home on Monday, August 16, 2021. Pat was born June 10, 1945 in Peoria to Thomas J. Reel and Edith (Reel) Haacke. He married Pamela Zachary on October 12, 2002. Surviving is his wife Pamela of Peoria, his brother Timothy (Rebecca) of El Centro, CA, his nephew Aaron Reel, his two sons, Michael (Cheryl) Reel of Belmont, NC and Brandon (Caroline) Reel of Missoula, MT, daughter Laura (James) Tessem of Peoria and son Tony McGovern of Springfield, granddaughter Savannah (Dalton) Dieckow of Canton, great-grandchild on the way and grandson James Tessem of Peoria.

Pat was preceded in death by his parents, sister Carol Taylor, and nephew Jason Reel.

Pat grew up in Peoria and attended St. James Trade School in Springfield (which later became Brother James Court), graduating in 1963. He worked at Caterpillar Inc. for 30 years and retired in 1995. He went on to work at the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office as a Process Server for 11 years, retiring in 2007.

Pat lived the “abundant life”. As a young man, Pat played saxophone in a band with his brother and lifelong friend John Miller and had a love of music his whole life, later playing harmonica in another band. He had a great love of the outdoors and loved to hunt, fish and boat on the Illinois river. Pat and Pam spent many happy hours riding their horses, Zane and Cisco, down in Sandridge State Forest and “camping” on Red Riley’s farm in their camper. Loved working in his garden, planting vegetables, flowers and his renown banana trees.

He was a master carpenter who enjoyed working with his hands and rebinding Big Books for friends. He always could find an answer when anything went wrong. Although he was a very stubborn Irishman, and had a sense of humor that could be misunderstood, he had a big heart and was always willing to help anyone in need. Pat believed it all boiled down to “Do Good”. He often randomly told people “Merry Christmas” because every day is a gift.

Pat travelled with his kids to many southern states, visiting family, camping and swimming in the ocean. He once caught a 7-foot sailfish with his son off the Florida Keys. Pat and Pam went to numerous National Parks including Glacier, Yellowstone, Olympic and Gettysburg. He even made it home to the “Old Sod” Ireland.

Pat’s faith in God carried him through many trials in his life. He became a member of the Limbs Up Crew in 2018 after he lost his leg due to infection. But even after he lost his leg, he rode his horse and motorcycle again and danced with his granddaughter at her wedding.

Pat was a friend of Bill W. for 43 years and helped so many people. Next to God, his sobriety came first and then the love for his family.

Cremation rites have been accorded. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Brother James Court in Springfield. Brother James Court is dedicated to serving adult men with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

A Celebration of Life will be held on September 26 from 1-4 pm at the K of C Hall, 7403 N. Radnor Road, Peoria. Please bring your stories of Pat. Friends may sign the online guestbook or send condolences at
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