Rick Perez, 67 of Ottawa passed away peacefully with his four favorite girls by his side. He was born on December 4, 1952, in DePue, Illinois to Ray and Mary [Ortiz]Perez. A lifelong Ottawa resident, he loved our small town and cherished his friendships from his neighborhood, grade school, high school, and throughout his lifetime. Rick was a union laborer with Local 393 and then employed at Exelon Nuclear Station beginning in 1990. Rick worked at the LaSalle, Braidwood, and Dresden Stations until his retirement in 2014. Rick’s love of basketball started at a young age, and he played throughout his school career. It continued in the 1980’s when he and Rusty Wells coached the St. Columba Boys Basketball Team. Rick was recently inducted into the Marquette High School Hall of Fame as a member of the 1969-1971 Basketball Team, where he was a point guard.
Rick married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Lori Hannigan on September 8,1973. They were married for over 46 years. They enjoyed spending time with their family, antiquing, traveling all over but mostly to what they considered their second home, Cape Cod. Rick's proudest days were spent traveling all over to watch his daughter Carrie compete in gymnastics and cheering on Allison with basketball. His continued support carried on through every aspect of their lives. Rick’s world got even brighter when his granddaughter Parker was born. They were the best of friends, breakfast and lunch buddies and ever present at any dance or school program.
Rick was an avid music lover and a lifelong Beatles fan. His desire to share his love of music with others led him to pursue a new business endeavor; Rick launched his DJ career as the owner of Musical Memories. He was a music committee member for the City of Ottawa’s RiverFest, on the committee for United Way at Exelon, he helped found the Shepherd Parents’ Club, and was also a committee member for the Marquette High School Class of 1971 Reunion. Rick was a member of St. Francis and St. Columba Church and was a strong believer in his Catholic faith. He was also a diehard Chicago Cubs and Bears fan. Most importantly, Rick made many lifelong friends and he was considered the leader of the band.
Rick is survived by his wife Lori; daughters, Carrie (Mike) Poundstone and Allison Perez, granddaughter, Parker Jayne Poundstone; father, Ray Perez; sisters Monica (George) Hall and Laura (Steve) Loughridge all of Ottawa; his Uncles, Dr. Phil (the late Gay) Ortiz of Morris and Dave (the late Ruby) Ortiz of Ottawa; sisters-in-law, Sharon (Dennis) Rossiter and Linda Anselme and his favorite pup, Whitney. Rick was preceded in death by his grandparents, Benito and Juana Ortiz; his mother Mary Perez; his mother and father-in law, George and Jayne Hannigan; his sister-in-law Glena Miller; his brother-in law, William Anselme; his uncles Phil and Robert Perez; and Dick, Tony, and Danny Ortiz, who he considered his brothers.
We would like to give a special thanks to Father Kipfer, Linn VanDuzer, Dr. K., Dr. Z., Dan, Lori, Nicole and their staff, Vitas Hospice Center and, especially, our family and friends. Pallbearers will be Jack Abernathy, Rusty Wells, Doug Lacke, Pat Mooney, John Murphy, Joey Rivera, Tim Ortiz, Dennis Rossiter, Jamie Kummer, Mike Poundstone, and Michael Miller. Honorary pallbearers will be Steve Loughridge, Sally Jameson, Larry Mayhall, Mike Ribas, Marsha Perez-Piqula, Dan Eilts, Mike Jarigese,Alfred and Lawrence Manriquez, Parker Poundstone, and Hadley Armstrong.
Private family services will be held with burial at St. Columba Cemetery. A celebration of a life well lived will be held at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the family to be distributed to local charities of their choice. Gladfelter-Roetker Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
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