Neil Pobanz

VARNA - Neil L. Pobanz, 73, of Varna, Ill., formerly of East Moline, Ill., died at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26, 2012, at Proctor Hospital in Peoria.

Cremation rites were accorded. A private funeral was on Monday, May 28, 2012.

Neil was born June 7, 1938, in Geneseo, Ill., to Clifford L. and Enid (Drehmer) Pobanz. He was married to Carolyn Hosp from Oct. 12, 1963, to 1976. He then was married to Judy Hodges from April 29, 1977, to 1986.

He grew up in Galva, Ill., and graduated from Galva High School. He resided most of his life in East Moline, Ill., but moved to Varna, Ill., in 1993. He attended Parks College in Cahokia, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include a daughter, Brenda (Art) Williams of Livermore, Calif.; son, Chad Pobanz of Peoria; their mother, Carolyn Pobanz of Germantown Hills; and special friend, Nancy Umphress of Lacon, Ill. Also surviving are Willicene Pobanz, stepmother of Geneseo; Darold (May) Cherry, stepbrother of Round Rock, Texas; Marilyn (Gary) Bourne, stepsister of Geneseo; and cousins, Sandra Pobanz of Scottsdale, Ariz., Pauline Westerlund Makowski, Susan Westerlund Egbert, Pricilla Westerlund Blattner, Diane Westerlund, Steven, Richard, Roger and Daniel Westerlund.

Neil's extensive and dedicated career in aviation included military service: U.S. Army from 1961 to 1963, and after discharge, he continued employment as a civilian at Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois, and after 32 years experience he retired from the position of Army Material Command Aviation Officer. From 1995 to present, Neil was the manager of Marshall County Airport in Lacon, Ill. Under his leadership the airport received the award for Small General Aviation Airport of the Year in Illinois. Neil was also previous owner/operator of the FBO of Lacon Aero Service Inc., Marshall County Emergency Services Disaster Agency coordinator and senior technical consultant for American Bonanza Society.

Neil was inducted into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame and has received much recognition and many awards too numerous to mention for his performance and endeavors to promote aviation safety, especially addressing aging aircraft issues, continuing education, mentoring young people interested in aviation, especially CAP, maintaining communications with government officials in aviation matters and involved in aviation repair at the yearly Oshkosh EAA AirVenture.

Memorials may be directed to Civil Air Patrol, Quad City Composite Squadron, Quad City International AirportCAP Building, Moline, IL 61265, or the Lacon-Sparland Fire Protection District.

The family wishes to thank Lacon Emergency Response, Proctor Hospital staff and various medical personnel, family and friends for their support during this difficult time.

The Lenz Memorial Funeral Home in Lacon is in charge of the arrangements.

Online condolences may be expressed at

All family and friends are invited to share their memories of Neil at an informal gathering anytime between 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the Marshall County Airport.

Published in Peoria Journal Star on May 30, 2012