Gerald Andrew Pica, 75 of Abingdon, passed away at 4:18 p.m. Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
He was born January 11, 1944 in Leominster, Massachusetts, the son of Gabriel “Gabe” and Florence (Smith) Pica. He married Joyce Way on December 19, 1964 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Abingdon.
Gerald is survived by his loving wife of almost 55 years, Joyce; his children, Kimera (and Rich) Padilla of Springfield, Tolan (and Kym Tiffany)Pica of Alexandria, Virginia, Kristan (and David Nelson) Pica of Abingdon and Kindra (and Shawn Mazander) Derry of Peoria; eight grandchildren, Ashley Padilla, Katyn Pica-Johnson, Megan Mazander, Salvatore Pica, Mitchell Mazander, Antonia Derry, Aidan Derry and Gabriela Bryan; and one brother, George (and Carol) Pica of Washington state.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents.
He graduated from Abingdon High School in 1962 and attended Western Illinois University. He worked as a Quality Control Manager at the Outboard Marine Corporation in Galesburg for 14 years, for Teledyne Corporation in Chicago, was Plant Manager for Auburn Diecast, Auburn, Michigan and later worked as Quality Control Manager for Nelson Metals in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He last worked for Butler Manufacturing in Galesburg, where he retired.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Abingdon. He was a member of the former Abingdon Jaycees and was proud to have started the BB gun and Hunter Safety Courses, as well as the BB gun competitions in Abingdon for teams competing throughout Illinois and Iowa. He also moved a donated garage to the Abingdon Fairgrounds for the Jaycees, retrofitted it to operate and serve as a food stand. The building is still in use today. Gerald enjoyed the outdoors —bow hunting, trapping and fishing. His other hobbies included scrimshaw (engraving), woodworking, collecting stamps, coins and knives and working in his shop, and he was an avid reader.
Gerald will be remembered as an avid outdoorsman, a prolific reader, an engineer by-trade and tinker by-heart. He was powered by an insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge and understanding. He dearly loved his wife & soul-mate, his children, and grandchildren. His gruff exterior and reserved, but precious acts of kindness, will be sadly missed by those who knew him best.
As he requested, cremation will be accorded. To celebrate his life, the family will receive relatives and friends from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 12, 2019 at the Abingdon Banking Center Community Room, 805 N. Monroe St. in Abingdon. His son, Tolan, will share a tribute at 6 p.m. A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 14, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Abingdon with Father Jacob Rose officiating. Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services Abingdon Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.