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PEKIN ~ Jerry Dennis Berardi, 66, of Pekin, passed away at 8:47 a.m. Friday, October 9, 2020 at his home.

Born May 7, 1954 in Pekin to Albert and Betty Jean (Strubhar) Berardi, he married Denise Ann (Botello) Templeton on February 14, 2001 in Pekin.  She survives.

Also surviving are one daughter, Christina (Tim) Staes of Edwards; one grandson, J.J. Staes; three brothers, Gene (Nancy) Berardi and Carroll Berardi, both of Pekin, and Vincent “Vinnie” Berardi of Grand Haven, Michigan; and many nieces and nephews.

He was a 1973 graduate of Pekin Community High School.

Jerry was a member and worked out of Laborers Local #231 in Pekin for 43 years, retiring in 2017.  He learned his strong work ethic from his father at an early age.

He was a member of Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Pekin and was a volunteer with the food pantry at Grace United Methodist Church in Pekin.

Music was a big part of Jerry’s life.  At the age of 10, his dad taught him how to play the guitar.  He played rhythm guitar and sang in the Soundtrack Band for 15 years.  The band won the Jimmy Dean True Value Country Music Showdown contest in 1995 and had opened for Eddie Rabbit, Lonestar, Aaron Tippin, and Billy “Crash” Craddock.  He also played guitar with the Stone Country Band, the CILCO Shockers Band, and at the Kentuckiana Kampground.

Jerry and Denise enjoyed going to car shows, cruise-ins, and parades with their 1965 Corvette.  He helped organize the 2019 Central Illinois Memorial Kidney Fund All Inclusive Cruise-In.  He was a fan of the Beatles and enjoyed collecting their memorabilia for his Beatle’s room.  He enjoyed going to flea markets and antiquing.  He always looked forward to his monthly “Car Guy Breakfast Club” outing with friends. 

Jerry will be remembered for being a hard worker and didn’t know the meaning of the word “no” when it came to helping others.  He lived life to the fullest, never knowing when to stop working.  He and Denise were always on the go.  He loved to entertain in their home and he loved spending time with his family.  His greatest joy was being “Papa” to his grandson, J.J.

His memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 16, 2020 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Father Michael Andrejek and Pastor Eric Swanson will officiate.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.  Guidelines regarding social distancing and wearing masks will be followed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Tazewell Animal Protective Society, 100 TAPS Lane, Pekin, IL  61554 or to the Food Pantry at Grace United Methodist Church, 601 North 4th Street, Pekin, IL  61554.

To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com