PEORIA, Ill. -- Family, friends and fans said goodbye to Pete Vonachen Thursday night, during the visitation for the long-time chiefs owner.
People started lining up to say farewell to Peoria's Mr. Baseball well ahead of the 3:00 start time. The family contemplated holding the visitation at Dozer Park, but decided to hold it at Northwoods Church in Peoria.
Pete touched a lot of lives in his careers as restaurateur, Peoria Blacktop owner and as patriarch of the Peoria Chiefs. That was his best known role, and he was a man of the people, as shown when he said "The greatest thrill I had was going out there and seeing people have fun", after he purchased the team for a second time in 1993.
Visitation continues here at Northwoods Church until 9:00 Thursday night. Visitation is 11 am to 1 pm tomorrow at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Peoria Heights. The funeral mass begins at 1:00.