WEEK News 25 - News, Sports, Weather - Peoria, Illinois
March 11, 2014
Ralph “Butch” Fredrick Koonce, 65, of Washington passed away Tuesday September 25, 2012 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He was born February 3, 1947 in Cairo, IL to Ralph Thomas and Winifred Louise Butler Koonce. He married Sharon Mishler May 26, 1973 in Peoria. She survives along with his father of Washington; children, William (Stacy) Koonce of Washington, Chris Koonce of Greeley, CO, Jennifer Koonce of Washington, Susan (Alonzo) Williams of Peoria; grandchildren, Dylan, Dustin, Zachary, Kenneth, Rylan, Zyonna, Keegan, Addyson, Isabelle, Cody; sisters, Irma Lee (Charles) Robbins of Washington, Ruth Ann (Don) Conley of Washington; several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and his “brother” Carlie (Judy) Franklin of Washington. He was preceded in death by his mother. Butch was a Vietnam Veteran serving in the U.S. Navy for four years and served on the USS Bradley Reunion Committee. He graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1988 and was owner/operator of CIMS (Central Illinois Mortuary Services) in Peoria for 23 years, retiring October 15, 2011. He was a member of NFDA, IFDA, Masonic Taylor Lodge in Washington and Scottish Rite Bodies, Valley of Peoria. Butch was on the Disaster Mortuary Response Team for the Oklahoma City Bombing and served on the American Red Cross Advisory Board. He was a retired volunteer for the Northern Tazewell Rescue and Fire Department and a member of Midwest Cruisers Club. Cremation has been accorded and a Celebration of Life Service will be held Sunday September 30, 2012 at 2 p.m. with a reception to follow until 4 p.m. at Five Points in Washington. Rev. Paul Parks will officiate. Per his wishes his cremains will be scattered in Hawaii at a later date. In Lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Northern Tazewell Rescue and Fire Department or American Heart Association in his name.