Thomas L. McEndree, 73, of Streator passed away Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, at his residence in Streator.
Private funeral services will be held at a later date. Solon-Telford Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Born Sept. 4, 1944, in Benton, he was the son of Lowell and Martha "Carmen" (Rice) McEndree. He married Mary Grace Dimmig Sept. 7, 1968. She survives in Streator.
He is also survived by his daughter, Melissa (Aida A'Hearn) McEndree of Plainfield; Aida's children, Brenden and Quinn A'Hearn; his beloved dog, Chopper; nephews Curt Dimmig, Jay Little and Van Little; and cousins Donna Triyonis, Debbie Moehn, Phillip Minier, Scott Rice, Art Rice and Jack Hankins.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; a half-sister, Peggy Little; his mother and father-in-laws, Clarence "Cal" and Christine Dimmig; uncles Pete Minier, William Rice and Frank McEndree; an aunt, Mildred Minier and Florien Rice; and a cousin, John Minier.
He was born and raised in Benton. Known as Tommy to his friends growing up in Benton, he raced go-carts and horses. He graduated from Benton High School in 1962. Prior to receiving his draft notice, he trained horses in California.
The Army drafted him in 1966. While serving in the Vietnam era, he had the good fortune to remain state-side. He returned home in 1968 and took a job in Streator Illinois. He met his wife, Mary Grace, on a blind date that lasted over 50 years.
Born a Baptist, he converted to Catholicism in 1968. He was a member of the former St. Mary's and St. Anthony churches.
In 1969, Tom began working at R.R. Donnelley & Sons, in Dwight. He retired as a pressman 30 years later.
For years, Tom was actively involved in supporting youth sports as a coach and booster. He coached youth softball and was a member and president of both the St. Anthony Booster Club and the Streator High School Red and White Club. He was a lifetime member of Msgr. George A. Dzuryo Knights of Columbus Council 790 and Leslie G. Woods American Legion Post 217.
Tom had the gift of telling stories and making those around him smile and laugh. He loved his wife, his daughter, his family, his dogs, his granddogs, his motorcycle, country music, his favorite sports teams, and a good cheeseburger with a chocolate malt. If you were ever his friend, you were always his friend. And, if you were walking your dog, you could always stop for a visit whether he knew you or not.
Tom will be sadly missed.
Condolences may be left for the family at solontelford.com.