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PEKIN ~ Randal Louis Berardi, Sr., 84, of Pekin, passed away at 10:52 p.m. Sunday, March 12, 2017 at his home with his wife at his side.

Born August 30, 1932 in Pekin to Louis and Geneva (Rodgers) Berardi, he married Lana Lane on May 28, 1971in Pekin.  She survives.

Also surviving are two sons, Randal (Elli) Berardi, Jr. of Goodfield, Doug Lane of Pekin; two daughters, Ramona Horner of Pekin, Lisa Crigger of Manito; seven grandchildren, Chris Bird, Zak (Brandi) Simer, Katrina (Alex) Thompson, Alyssa Patterson, Michael Patterson, Maria Berardi, Louis Berardi and four great-grandchildren, Kaiya, Iree, Lilla and Koen Simer.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Ricki Berardi on January 29, 1957 in Pekin and two grandchildren, Joshua Simer on October 12, 2002 in Pekin and Cory Lane on May 21, 2013 in Camby, Indiana.

Randal was a graduate of the class of 1951 at Pekin Community High School.  Later, he was a committee member for the Class of 1951 Reunion.

He worked for Caterpillar, Inc. for 35 years, retiring in 1985 as a Staff Engineer.  While with Caterpillar, Randal had developed the V-Flange Tool Holder.

Randal was a former member of the Experimental Aircraft Association.  He learned to fly and received his pilot’s license at the age of 16 under the guidance of Eloise (Crabtree) Snell.  Before graduating high school, he traveled to 16 states in his Piper Cub airplane.   He built several airplanes, two of which, he hand built in his workshop.  In 1989 he won Grand Champion in the light plane division at Oshkosh, Wisconsin for his WWI Nieuport 17 replica.  He also designed and built a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis which is now in a museum in Manito.

He was the founding member of the “Geezer’s Club” and was also a member of the Monday Morning Coffee Group.  He was a man that enjoyed telling stories to his many friends that would stop by and share a glass of wine with him.  He kept a journal for many years and had made the Berardi and Rodgers family heritage books.  Most of all, Randal loved to spend time with family and friends.

Randal was a member of the Pekin First Church of the Nazarene and the Joy Sunday School Class.  His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 17, 2017 at the church.  Rev. W. Lloyd Brock will officiate.  Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Additional visitation will be from 10 until 10:45 a.m. at the church on Friday.  Cremation will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Riley Children’s Foundation, 30 South Meridian Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46204-3509 in memory of Cory Lane or to Pekin First Church of the Nazarene, 3514 Broadway Street, Pekin, IL 61554.

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