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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened to
3learn of the death of Harold "Pete" Vonachen of Peoria, who
4died on June 10, 2013; and
5    WHEREAS, Harold Vonachen graduated from Spalding Institute
6and then Bradley University in 1949; he served in the U.S. Navy
7from 1943-1946; he married Donna Hurst on May 11, 1957; and
8    WHEREAS, Harold Vonachen was a longtime Peoria
9entrepreneur and the person responsible for making minor league
10baseball stick in the city; he purchased the Peoria Suns in
111983, and in 1985 it was renamed the Chiefs and became an
12affiliation of the Chicago Cubs; throughout the years, the team
13has been affiliated with both the Cubs and the St. Louis
14Cardinals; the team set Midwest League attendance records in
151985, 1988, and 1989; he eventually sold the team, but in 1994
16led a group to re-purchase it; the ballpark where the Chiefs
17played was renamed in his honor as Pete Vonachen Stadium and
18housed the team until they moved to their new downtown stadium,
19Dozer Park in 2002; and
20    WHEREAS, Before Harold Vonachen made his mark in minor
21league baseball, his early ventures were in the restaurant
22field; he began with a part-time job running Field House



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1concessions at Bradley University and at the same time worked
2at Murphy's restaurant; in 1955, he opened his own restaurant,
3Vonachen's Junction, a place known for its distinctive train
4car dining room; and
5    WHEREAS, In 1970, after 15 years of running a successful
6restaurant, Harold Vonachen switched careers and became
7president of Peoria Blacktop Inc.; he ran his construction
8business until making another career move into the sports
9world; and
10    WHEREAS, Harold Vonachen was named Midwest League
11Executive of the Year and The Sporting News Class A Pro
12Baseball Minor League Executive of the Year; he served on the
13Peoria Park Board for 6 years, as a member of Bradley's board
14of trustees, and as a member of the City Liquor Commission; he
15was a past director of the Peoria Area Chamber of commerce and
16the Peoria Rotary Club and was a member of OSF Saint Francis
17Medical Center's advisory board; he is an inductee of the
18Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; and
19    WHEREAS, Harold Vonachen was preceded in death by his wife,
20Donna; and
21    WHEREAS, Harold Vonachen is survived by his children, Mary
22Michael "Mikie" Shadid, Harold "Rocky" III, Gregory, Daniel,



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1and Mark; therefore, be it
3ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
4Harold Vonachen, and extend our sincere condolences to his
5family, friends, and all who knew and loved him; and be it
7    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
8presented to the family of Harold Vonachen as an expression of
9our deepest sympathy.