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- Fred Arsene Darche, 92, of Peoria passed away very peacefully, completing his journey to meet God at 11:50 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at Heartland Manor Care.
Fred was born on Jan. 24, 1921, in Pekin to Arthur Sr. and Frances (Hoffreiter) Darche. He married his loving wife, Lucille Mary Coens, on Aug. 15, 1943, at Westover Field in Holyoke, Mass. Fred and Lucille shared over 50 loving years together, prior to her passing on Sept. 15, 1998.
He was also preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Eugene Todd Darche and Arthur Darche Jr.; and one sister, Marie.
He is survived by his children, Patricia (Dan) Burwell of Pekin, Jean (Robert) Droege of Peoria, Steve (Tracy) Darche of Eureka and Fred Jr. (Becky) Darche of Peoria; 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and one sister, Joanne Jenkins of Florida.
Fred lived most of his youth in Pekin, where he graduated from Washington Junior High School in 1935 and graduated from Pekin High School in 1939. In 1929, he lived with his family in Texas and attended school there until their return to life in Pekin.
Fred was initiated into the Steamfitters Union in May of 1940. He began dating his best friend and wife, Lucille, in 1941, after she was transferred in her employment to Pekin. In 1942, he worked in Savanna, Ill., in a munitions plant. In 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army, attached to the 5th Airborne, serving in New Guinea and the Philippines. In 1949, he began his very successful career with Johnson Controls in Peoria, and became superintendent of the service department. He was chosen to teach pneumatic control classes at Purdue University. He also served on the executive board of Steamfitters Local 353 for many years.
Fred and his wife attended Holy Family Church in Peoria and worked for many years on the Food Share Program. He also served as a Eucharistic minister and visited nursing homes.
His life was filled with enjoyment of family, travel and numerous activities, such as riding his trike and collecting guns. Fred will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. We, as his children, thank God for blessing us with such a wonderful father.
Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Father Thomas Taylor will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at Wright & Salmon Mortuary, with recitation of the rosary at 4:30 p.m. An additional visitation will be 30 minutes prior to the Mass at the church. Entombment will be in Resurrection Mausoleum, with military honors.
Memorials may be made to St. Thomas Food Share Pantry Program.
Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon. com.
Published in Peoria Journal Star on Nov. 10, 2013