Celebrating the life of Stephen "Steve" L. Respress
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He was born January 30, 1949 in Peoria to Albert and Mattie Lou Hall Respress. His parents and brother, Daniel Respress preceded him in death.
He married Peggy L. Williamson April 21, 1990 in East Peoria; she survives. He is also survived by his children, Isaac (Candy) Respress, Jordan Respress, Robin (John) Respress-Boyd, Preston (Jessica) Janson, Aaron (fiancée, Kristin Fox) Tower, Christopher Respress; several foster children and guardianship of four children; grandchildren, Haley Respress, Lauren Pickering, Breanna Moke, Justin Arnett, Abbigail Respress, Lydia Respress, John Boyd Jr., Bryson Lynch, Logan Boyd, Leland Boyd, Shelby Lynch, Shaylynn Lynch, Alaiyah Boyd, Traityn Boyd, Prescott and Marygrace Janson; eleven foster grandchildren and brother, Ronald (Freida) Respress.
Steve loved and served the Lord Jesus well. He was a wonderful man who passed his love of cars and guitars on to his children. He was raised in East Peoria and attended East Peoria High School. He joined the U.S. Army and served time in Vietnam and was also stationed in Germany. He worked as an AutoCAD Operator for National Wheel-O-Vator retiring in 2008.
Steve was a great singer and musician. He did worship ministry at Sonshine Ministry and was a member of the Christian Band Sondance. In the 90’s he was the Worship Leader at Vineyard East for 18 years in East Peoria. He also did worship ministry at New Life Christian Church in Morton, IL, and Prison Ministry. Steve began his music career in high school playing with The Casuals. He played guitar and sang with Wall Street Band in the 80’s and was also in a band called Gene And The Pushrods. In the early 2000’s, he and his son played in an Elvis Tribute Band.
Passing on his love of music, Steve would go listen to a band his son played in. They would ask him to sit in and play “Five O’clock World/On Broadway” and “Tupelo Honey”, along with several other Van Morrison songs.
Later, he learned how to record music on his computer. He had over 100 songs recorded. He would start with a drum track and add guitar, bass, keys, and background vocals. Then he would burn that to a CD and perform with live guitar and lead vocals. If you went by a local cafe in East Peoria on a Saturday night around 2010, you’d have a hard time finding a parking spot or a place to sit because lots of people would come listen to him play.
Many people called him Father, Brother, and Bandmate. Mostly people called him Friend. He touched a lot of lives and will be missed by all.
Full Military Honors will be at Camp Butler in Springfield, IL April 16, 2021 at 1pm. A Celebration of Life/Benefit (to offset medical expenses) will be April 17, 2021 from 2-8 pm at Ault Park, 1839 Highview Rd. East Peoria, IL.
Memorials may be made to Veterans Helping Veterans (make checks payable to Veterans Helping Veterans) C/O Donald & Tanya Vanbrough 1619 Resthaven Road, Peoria, IL 61615 in his name.
The Cremation Society of Mid-Illinois Co. Pekin/Peoria is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at csmico.com
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