Former Journal Star editor was avid hunter, fisherman
CANTON - William R. "Bill" Peak, 69, of Canton, Ill., passed away at 5:02 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012, at Graham Hospital in Canton.
He was born March 19, 1943, in Canton, the son of James R. and Helen M. (Lesko) Peak.
He is survived by his mother of Canton; his aunt, Margaret Neill of Canton; two close cousins, Thomas (Lorraine) Neill of Canton and Barbara (Jon) Meline of Bloomington; and his caregiver, Rene' Scalf of Canton.
He was preceded in death by his father.
Bill worked at the Peoria Journal Star for 34 years, retiring in September 2000 as night city editor. He also had been an assistant city editor from 1971 to 1991, and previously was a copy editor and reporter.
He graduated from the University of Illinois at the top of his class in 1965.
He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Canton. He was also a member of Ducks Unlimited, the Woodyard Hunting Club, Honker's Corner Hunting Club and Mallard Farms of Metamora.
Bill loved to hunt and fish, and thousands of fish, ducks and other wild game lived to regret it over the years.
He traveled to Wyoming each year to hunt antelope and mule deer, and he spent his autumns in duck blinds, where he was renowned for his shooting prowess.
He shared his bounty of game each year with a close group of friends at a much-anticipated wild-game feed at the Peoria Hofbrau. Bill always enjoyed that time with Harry, John, Dave, Mike, Jack, Jim, Emil, Steve and many others, including the chef himself, Art. Between platters of food and drink were countless tales of hunting, fishing and shooting - many of which were even true.
Bill also was an iconic fixture in the Journal Star newsroom, where his photographic recall, acerbic wit and deep knowledge of the Peoria area made him an outstanding editor.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, at Murphy-Sedgwick Memorial Home in Canton, where visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday. Deacon Sam Taylor will officiate. Burial will be in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Canton.
Memorials may be made to Ducks Unlimited of Fulton County.
To view Bill's memorial DVD or submit online condolences, you may go to www.sedgwickfuneralhomes.com.