Larry Gene Bernabei, age 80, of Ottawa, passed away December 18, 2021 following a courageous battle with Covid.
Larry was born February 22, 1941 at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley, Illinois, a son of Geno and Olympia (Brasi) Bernabei. He is survived by his wife, Joan (Benya) Bernabei; sons, Mark (Jessica Davis) Bernabei and Matt (Beth Grooms) Bernabei all of Ottawa; grandchildren, Joe, Lilliana, Mario, Ella and Margaret Bernabei all of Ottawa; and a brother, Gerald Bernabei of Oglesby. Larry was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Joseph Bernabei.
A Memorial Mass will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 6th at St. Francis Church in Ottawa with Rev. David M. Kipfer officiating. Interment will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Granville. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Thursday at the church. Pallbearers will be Terry Mix, Ryan Holcman, Ben Dolder and Matt Penoyer. Gladfelter-Roetker Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Larry received his education at Standard Grade School, Hopkins High School in Granville, Illinois Valley Community College and Illinois State University. He was a man of deep faith who dearly loved his family, friends, neighbors and farming. Larry loved to travel, garden, raise livestock and preserving our environment. Many weekends would find Larry and his father doing concrete finishing for residents of Standard.
Larry was a professional accordionist from his youth. He worked at Moews Seed Company, Westclox and as a carpenter. Larry was an industrial engineer at Modern Collett in Oglesby and Sunstrand in LaSalle. He farmed for 50 years in Ottawa Township
Larry was a member of the Illinois Valley Headers in Standard, was a member of the Star Dusters Band with Pete, Dave and Larry from Putnam County and the American Federation of Musicians Local 30 in LaSalle. He served as a Standard Trustee, served on the Standard Fire Department. He was a member of St. Francis Church and St. Francis Men’s Club in Ottawa, the National Machine Tool Builders Association, the American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers and the LaSalle County Farm Bureau. Larry was the founder and director of Residents Against a Polluted Environment (RAPE). It was his wish that everyone would do something to preserve the environment. He would often say “It has been a great ride.”
Memorial contributions may be directed to the St. Francis Church Improvement Fund. To share a memory, please visit www.gladfelter-roetker.com or Gladfelter-Roetker Funeral Home on Facebook.