PEKIN - Donald C. "Donnie" Bargmann, 63, of Pekin passed away at 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, at his residence.
He was born March 20, 1950, in Peoria to Leo Donald and Rosemary (Eaker) Bargmann.
His parents preceded him in death.
Surviving are one daughter, Jennifer C. (Brett) Landes of Los Gatos, Calif.; one son, Jeremy S. (Hannah) Bargmann of San Jose, Calif.; his granddaughter, Olivia Rose Bargmann, who was the newfound "love of his life"; and two sisters, Peggy A. (Michael) Fisher and Kristi L. Buff, both of Pekin. He also leaves many nieces and nephews.
A United States Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, Donnie served as a radio field operator and attained the rank of corporal. He was a 1968 graduate of Pekin Community High School.
Donnie worked for Commonwealth Edison in the mechanical maintenance department at the Powerton Generating Station in Pekin for 35 years, retiring in 2005 from Midwest Generation. His second job and true passion was as an announcer for the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) for Flat Track racing. He traveled the AMA circuit as the announcer for the Grand National Dirt track series from 2000 to present. Donnie was known for his one-liners and unique descriptions of the racers. Donnie gave the Peoria track the name of Thunder Valley and was known as the voice of Thunder Valley Peoria TT and Springfield Mile races for many years.
He was a life member of the American Motorcycle Association. He also was a life member of the Tobin Nanninga Marine Corps League Detachment 85, a member of Roy L. King Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1232 and a past president and life member of the Pekin Motorcycle Club, all in Pekin.
Donnie was known for his good sense of humor, the gift of gab and a huge personality that was impossible not to adore. He also had nicknames for most of his family, friends and the racers on the track. Along with enjoying motorcycles, Donnie was a faithful fan of the Dallas Cowboys and enjoyed watching NASCAR with his son-in-law.
He was of the Methodist faith.
His funeral will be at noon Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. The Rev. Clint Bargmann will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Prairie Haven Cemetery in Pekin, where military rites will be accorded by the United States Marine Corps and Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, 4722 N. Sheridan Road, Peoria, IL 61614; or to K9s for Warriors, a not-for-profit that supports men and women of the armed forces suffering with PTSD, in care of the funeral home.
To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com.
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