1933 Ernie 2018

Ernie Reese

April 13, 1933 — January 18, 2018

Ernie Reese, 84, of Peoria, died on January 18, 2018, at his home.
Ernie, also known as “E”, “The Big E” and “The voice of reason” was born on April 13, 1933 in Media, Illinois to Thomas and Cleta (Smith) Reese.
Ernie was an all- star athlete. He graduated from IVC High School in Chillicothe, where he lettered in baseball, track, football and basketball.  He pitched in the Sunday Morning baseball league in 1951 and 1952, and was later inducted into the IVC Hall of Fame.
Ernie attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, where he was a member of the baseball and football team. Ernie was an outstanding pitcher and was scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals.
He worked for 32 years at Federal Warehouse/Allied Van lines in East Peoria, retiring in 1996. He started as an owner /operator, later being promoted to Operations Manager. That is where he met his dearest friend in the world, Don Ullman, who he considered the brother he never had. Ernie had so many wonderful memories of all his friends and employees that he worked with during his time at the company.
Ernie was an avid Chicago sports fan. He attended the first game that Jackie Robinson ever played at Wrigley Field. He always told the story that he would never forget the roar of the crowd when Banks ran onto the field.  One of the greatest gifts he received was the Cubs winning the World Series.  He always said he would never live to see that day, but he did and our family will be forever grateful to the Chicago Cubs for ending the 108 -year drought just in time.
An avid fisherman, Ernie fished every local strip mine near Peoria (most illegally). He graduated to legal fishing on his occasional trips to Canada.
He loved sitting on his porch swing in his back yard, which he turned into a sanctuary for every local bird and unwanted squirrel. He spent countless hours making homemade traps and implements to ensure no breach would occur in any bird feeder.
Ernie loved the finer things in life, and only dined at the most prestigious local restaurants, such as Maid-Rite, Steak and Shake and Hardee’s. He also never met a dessert he didn’t like. Cool Whip was a staple in the house and considered its own food group.
He preferred sweatshirts to dress shirts and each stain was considered a homage to the meal that preceded it.
He found a wonderful group of friends at Panera Bread, which became a home away from home Monday through Friday for many years. His mornings were spent eating steel cut oatmeal with dear friends and pondering life’s most pressing issues- yet to be determined.  Our family will forever be grateful to all his friends and staff at Panera for making his last few years so enjoyable.
Other than cats and shopping malls, his compassion was vast. Ernie was an amazing father and husband and will be forever missed and loved by so many, none more than his family, who thought the world of him.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Martha Reese; sons, Thomas and Tracy Reese of Peoria; daughter, Tanya (Christopher) Margetis of Seal Beach, California; and grandchildren, Ian and Flynn Margetis.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a daughter, Meri-Lou Carlson, and his beloved dog, Sydney.
Private services will be held in his memory.
A Celebration of Ernie’s Life will be held later in the spring, details to be republished at that time.
Memorials can be made to the Peoria Humane Society.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Clary Funeral Home, 3004 West Lake Avenue, in Peoria.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Ernie Reese, please visit our flower store.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers