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T.L. "Tony" Vrell

November 24, 1935 ~ January 22, 2019 (age 83)


T.L. “Tony” Vrell, 83, of Peoria, IL passed away from Parkinson’s on January 22, 2019 in Sun City Center, Florida.  He was born on November 24, 1935 in Chicago, IL to Edwin Lee and Alice (Johnson) Vrell.  He married Betty J. Zoss, the love of his life, on June 6, 1959 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Metamora, IL.  She passed away on August 5, 2018.

Surviving are daughters Linda (Patrick) O’Brien of Springfield, IL, Sandra Vrell of Long Beach, CA, and Rhonda Vrell of High Point, NC; and granddaughters Colleen and Mary O’Brien of Springfield.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and siblings Edwin Vrell and Yvonne Johnson. 

Tony was in the Air National Guard from 1953-1960 and the Army National Guard from 1960-1966, resigning as a 1st Lt..  He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1963 with a BS in Technical Arts.  He worked at Caterpillar Inc. retiring as a Senior Sales Consultant Locomotive in 1997 with 35 years of service.  Beginning their lives together in California while Tony was in college, he and Betty moved many times during their marriage from California, to Illinois, Ohio, Australia, and eventually splitting their time between Illinois and Florida.  Tony enjoyed playing poker and golf with his buddies, collecting antique golf clubs, and his involvement in Wheels O’ Time Museum.  But mostly, Tony loved spending time with his family and friends, all of whom miss him dearly.

Cremation rites have been accorded.  A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, July 26, 2019 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church with Father Tom Taylor officiating.  Visitation will be held from 9:00 am until service time on Friday at the church.  Burial of ashes will be held at 12:00 Noon on Friday at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Metamora.  Following burial a funeral lunch will be held at Christian Union Church in Metamora.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Parkinson’s Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York City, NY 10018.  Online condolences at


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