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Richard Sternberg

November 24, 1938 December 3, 2018
Richard Sternberg
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Obituary for Richard Sternberg

Richard Leo Sternberg, 80, of East Peoria, passed away at 2:42 pm December 3, 2018, at home under hospice care after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

He was born November 24, 1938, in Omaha, Nebraska, to William and Helen Sternberg. He married Eleanor Cornica in Las Vegas in 1960, and after 41 years she preceded him in death in 2001.

Surviving are two sons, Scott (Lynnette) Sternberg of Tremont and Mark Sternberg of Murfreesboro, TN; brother Donald Sternberg of Beaumont, CA; sisters Marin (Hank) Milam of Rancho Mission Viejo, CA and Beverly Letter of San Juan Capistrano, CA; grandson Jordan of Nashville, TN; step-daughters Kelly (Jim) Oldfield of Skokie and Shannon Orrill of Peoria; and 4 step-grandchildren.

After high school graduation in Omaha, Dick served in the US Army in France. He moved to the Los Angeles area after service to be near his siblings who had relocated. He worked for 10 years as print department manager at DesiLu Studios, coming to know Lucy & Desi Arnaz as well as the casts of Ponderosa, Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes, and Mission Impossible.

His brother Don encouraged him to join the construction trade, and Dick began work as a contractor. He worked with Don (later Scott joining) in building and remodeling homes for celebrities in the Los Angeles area before becoming project manager for a large Japanese company, building large-scale commercial projects such as buildings, dams, and bridges.

Dick and Eleanor moved to the Groveland area in 1995 to be near son Scott and his family, and the two began building homes in the tri-county area as Richcraft Builders. Scott continued the business after Dick retired in the early 2000's.

In 2004 Dick met Jo Orrill (she survives); they married in 2005, immediately beginning 9 years of travel throughout the lower 48 states and Canada on their Honda Goldwing motorcycle, eventually moving to a motor home then fifth wheels, always taking the motorcycle. While Jo hiked the trails, Dick would be at the campground drinking coffee & reading.

At the start of a massive home remodeling and addition project, Dick was diagnosed with a rare renal cell cancer and, in spite of this and being in treatment, he completed everything, steadfastly refusing to let cancer prevent him from finishing. Eventually, as his oncologist had told him, the "the cancer outsmarts the drugs."

Jo and Scott and family are more than grateful to the entire staff of Illinois Cancer Care of Peoria, most especially to Dr. Gary MacVicar and APN's Deb Rufus and Doreen Link; and also, to Dr. Thomas Rashid of OSF Urology.

Cremation rites have been accorded and services will be Dec. 15 at First Baptist Church in Peoria at 12 noon with visitation one-hour prior. Memorial contributions may be made to Illinois Cancer Care of Peoria.

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