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Thomas Verhake

September 18, 1930 January 29, 2012
Thomas Verhake
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Obituary for Thomas Verhake

Thomas L. “Tom” Verhake, 81, of Peoria was a great husband, father, and friend, who lost his brief battle with cancer on January 29, 2012 at Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria with his family at his side. Tom was born in East Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 18, 1930 to Martin B. and Josephine L. Verhake. He attended the University of Michigan. He was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity and Phi Eta Sigma and Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering fraternities. He married Alicia Ellen Stevenson on February 7, 1953. In this same year Tom joined the Air Force and was hired by Caterpillar Tractor Company, where he worked for 36 years and held multiple executive positions including National Sales Manager and General Manager of the Paving Products Division, before retiring. He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister. A man of exceptional intelligence and wit, Tom was a pleasure to be around. In his retirement he was an active volunteer for Heart of Illinois Harvest Food Rescue. He loved giving back. Tom enjoyed the simple joys of life like watching the news, following the University of Michigan sports teams, and gardening. He enjoyed travel and visited every continent with the exception of Antarctica. For over 20 years, Tom was a snowbird, traveling with his wife to Sun City West, Arizona for the winter months. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he had been an elder. Tom is survived by his wife Alicia and two children: Sue (and Steve) Mahany (Dunlap, IL) and Carol Verhake (Berwyn, PA). Memorials can be made to the charity of your choice. Cremation has been accorded and private family services will be held at a later date.

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