Steven L. Gradert, 61, of Geneseo joined Jesus, passing away Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at the Richard L. Owens OSF Hospice Home in Peoria, IL after a short battle with cancer. A Celebration of Steven’s life will be held 5-7 PM, Monday, May 13 at Richmond Hill, Shelter #4 in Geneseo with comments presented by his family at 5:30 PM. Casual dress is requested. Per his request cremation rites will be accorded. Vandemore Funeral Homes, Geneseo is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Steven was born June 17, 1951 in Geneseo, IL the son of Don and Barbara (Wilkey) Gradert. He was a graduate of Geneseo High School. He married Rebecca Richardson, the love of his life (and hers), on January 10, 1998 in Geneseo, IL. The last words he spoke, he said to her, “I love you forever”.
Steven worked as a journeyman millwright, working for several companies throughout the United States. He was a talented and avid baseball player. He was a White Sox fan and a spirited debater, especially when it came to politics. His favorite pastime was reading, especially history books.
His greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren, always reading to them and teaching them. He was actively involved in his youngest daughter’s (Sidney) life and took great care in diligently raising her. He was extremely proud of his childrens’ accomplishments and loved them dearly.
Survivors include his wife: Rebecca; 4 daughters: Paula Gradert, Jennifer Garrity (John) of Andover, Meredith (Matt) Burcham of Denver, CO, and Sidney Gradert of Geneseo; 2 sons: Derek (Maggie) Gradert and Kelley (Kari) Gradert of Moline, IL; 8 grandchildren: Alaina, Phoebe, Emalee, Aidan, Jonas, Andre, Halle, and Emma; 2 sisters: Jeanne Taylor and Chris Ingram both of Venice, FL; 1 brother: Jeff Gradert of Venice, FL; and several nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends: Pete, John, and Bill.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, 1 son, Cory, and 1 brother, Mike.