American Patriotic 10

Edward K. Pillash

January 14, 1929 ~ July 1, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old


  Edward Kenneth Pillash, 94, formerly of South Streator passed away peacefully Saturday, July 1, 2023 at the LaSalle Veterans Home in LaSalle, surrounded by his family.

  Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, July 8th at St. Michael the Archangel Church, Streator.

  Visitation will be from 4-7 P.M. Friday, July 7th at the Solon-Telford Funeral Home, Streator.  The rosary will be recited at 6:45 P.M.

  Burial will be in St. Stephen’s Cemetery, Streator.  Pallbearers will be his grandchildren, Nathan Guest, Robert Sanderson, Sean Sanderson and Scott Sanderson; Lincoln Henson and Nicholas Henson.  Honorary pallbearer will be his grandson, Joshua Pillash.

  He was born January 14, 1929, in Chicago, the only child of Edward Karl and Mary Evelyn (Centko) Pillash.  He married Jeannie Carol Wierenga on April 29, 1950, at St. Stephen’s Church, Streator.  She preceded him in death on July 27, 2015.

  Ed is survived by his daughters, Linda (Ronald) Guest of Long Point, Janice (Dennis) Henson of Channahon, and Christine (Paul) Alles of Bridgewater, Massachusetts; son Mark (Kathy) Pillash of Prospect, Tennessee; daughter-in-law Amy Pillash of Streator.  His grandchildren, Nathan (Melinda) Guest of Farmer City, Jennifer Guest of Joliet, Joshua Pillash of Piedmont, Alabama, Rachel (Nathan) Dyer of Huntsville, Alabama, Nicholas (Monica) Henson of Inverness, Lincoln (Carolyn) Henson of Homer Glen, Robert (Ryanne) Sanderson of Wakefield, Massachusetts, Sean (Lindsay) Sanderson and Scott Edward (Megan Beyer) Sanderson both of Raynham, Massachusetts, Hannah Pillash of Streator and Carlye Pillash of Chicago; step-grandchildren, Stacey (Scott) Smith and Paul Alles Jr. both of Bridgewater, Massachusetts; great-grandchildren, Mia, Christina, Alina and Trenton Guest; Evelyn, Meredith, Juliana, Fletcher Edward, and Theodore Dyer; Sophia and Mariana Henson; Logan and Elliot Henson; Riley and River Sanderson; step-great-grandchildren, Aubrey, Brooke, Chase, and Jaxson Smith: brother-in-law Douglas (Pam) Wierenga of Oregon; nieces and nephews, Cindy, Cheryl, and Keith of South Dakota; Kim, Scott, and Suzie of California.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, son Eric Paul Pillash and great-granddaughter Abbigal Mae Elizabeth Guest.

  Ed recalled fond memories of his grandparents Andrew and Anna Centko, with whom he lived for the first 5 years of his life during the Great Depression.  One of his favorite stories to tell is when his grandfather took him exploring down into the coal mine where he saw the old rails and coal cars still inside the mine.  He attended St. Anthony’s Grade School for the first few years until Monsignor Louis Biskupski told his mother he should instead attend St. Stephen’s School because he was Slovak. Proudly he graduated 8th grade from St. Stephen’s. In his youth he became an accomplished accordion player and was a member of the Streator Accordion Band. Before graduating from Streator High School in 1947, he was one of the gridders (playing an END position) on the 1946 Streator High Football squad, which won the Big Twelve Championship!  Continuing his football career, Ed received a football scholarship at Northern Illinois University, again playing End on the B team during the fall of 1947. Not only did he play football, but also played baseball and was the last surviving member of the 1948 Streator Reds Baseball team.

  Instead of returning to the university in the fall of 1948, Ed joined the United States Navy, forever changing his life. After completing Boot Camp at Great Lakes Naval Base he was stationed on the USS Taconic during the Korean War (Active-Duty 26 October 1948 to 17 October 1952), but most importantly met his future wife Jeannie, a Navy Wave, who was stationed in Philadelphia. After being honorably discharged on November 3, 1952, he promptly moved back to Streator to be with his wife and young children.

  He was employed for 32 years at Owens Illinois Glass and retired at age 55 when he took the company’s first buyout in 1984.  Throughout his career, he was Maintenance Foreman of Carpenters, Painters and Utility Crew, Iron and Sheet Metal, and Mechanical Repair departments.  Additionally was General Systems Forman in Power House, and became Assistant Plant Engineer. He retired as the Supervisor of the Cold End Mechanization Department.

  Ed has a long history of volunteerism and public service. From 1967 to 1979 he served on the Woodland Unit #5 School District Board including presiding as Board President from 1972 and 1973.  Key term projects during his tenure included bringing Streator City water to the rural school district. Also, he led the redesigning of the football field's center line and the layout of the Track and Field area with the help of senior engineering students. He proudly served as a Trustee on Reading Township Board from 1997-2012. He also had ties to other local organizations including the Knights of Columbus Council #790, VFW Post 1492, Vermillion River Boat Club, and Streator Youth Baseball.  He was a devoted member of St. Michael’s Church; formerly St. Stephens, where he spent endless hours performing maintenance on the church properties, belonged to the Parents Club, and refereed basketball games. 

  Ed loved family, God, and nature. Many years of his life revolved around fishing and hunting with his sons and his dear Uncle Tony Centko.  In the summer, he and Jean loved going camping with their children in his homemade camper by taking trips to Lennox, South Dakota to fish and visit his wife’s family. Additionally, there were trips to the family cabin on the Vermilion River for boating and fishing, also, there were weekly picnics at the cabin including his aunts, uncles, and cousins of the Centko family.  In the fall, he loved teaching his children how to forage for edible mushrooms. Ed was an avid vegetable gardener who shared his bountiful crops with everyone in the neighborhood. Lastly, he and Jean traveled to various parts of the country including visits to his son, Mark’s family, in Alabama, and his daughter, Christine’s family in Massachusetts.

  Memorials may be directed to St. Michael the Archangel School or the charity of the donor’s choice.

  Online condolences may be left for the family at

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Edward K. Pillash?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Edward's memory.


July 7, 2023

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Solon-Telford Funeral Home
301 S. Park St.
Streator, Illinois 61364

Mass of Christian Burial
July 8, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Michael the Archangel Church (Streator)


© 2023 Solon-Telford Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility