PEKIN - Milton L. Graden, 87, of Pekin, Ill., passed away Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, at UnityPoint Health-Proctor in Peoria, Ill.
He was born June 27, 1926, in Pana, Ill., to Warren and Mary Cassidy Graden. He married Mary Hedderich on April 18, 1953, in Pana, Ill.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his daughter, Susan (Tim) Wiley of Pekin, Ill.; son, Alan (Judy) Graden of Pekin, Ill.; grandchildren, Lauren, Olivia, Jack, Kyle, Quinn, Elyse and Jordan; great-granddaughter, Vivienne; brother, Cletus (Regina) Graden of Assumption, Ill.; and special friend, Nadine Reining.
Milton served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, where he was stationed in Paris, France.
He was the owner and operator of Graden Insurance from 1959 to 1986 and continued as an independent agent until 2011. He retired from Caterpillar with over 30 years of service.
He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and participated in RCIA. He was a member of VFW, AMBUCS, American Legion and Dream Factory; life member of AACS; and past president of AMVETS.
He was a former pilot and loved gardening, woodworking and traveling nationwide in his "Big Dude" or flying his Cherokee.
Milt was famously known for his laugh and signing his signature in green ink. He never knew a stranger. He kept in close contact with friends all over the United States. He will be remembered for his famous opening line, "Did you hear what happened to me today?"
A funeral Mass will be held Friday, Feb. 21, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pekin, Ill. Father Michael Andrejek will officiate. Graveside services will be in Calvary Cemetery in Pana, Ill., at 3 p.m. on Friday. Visitation will be held Thursday, Feb. 20, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Abts Mortuary in Pekin, Ill.
The family has entrusted arrangements to Abts Mortuary in Pekin, Ill.
Online condolences may be made at abtsmortuary.com.