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PEKIN ~ Leslie Gene “Les” Avery, 78, of Pekin, passed away at 4:34 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 2019 at his home.

Born November 7, 1940 in Beardstown to Herman and Betty (Reeves) Avery, he married Jeannie Crawford on February 18, 1984 in Carbondale.  She survives.

Also surviving are one daughter, Tracy Avery-Long of Pekin; one son, Ryan Avery of Pekin; six grandchildren, Matthew, Sydney, Cameron and Caden Avery, and Anthony and Christopher Long; three sisters, Rita (David) Heilegriel of Mt. Sterling, Linda (Bill) Murdock of McAllister, Oklahoma, Gail Grace of Princeton; two brothers, Carl (Judy) Avery of Pekin and Mark Smith of Princeton.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Matthew John Avery in November, 1989; two sisters, Mary Alice Avery, Linda Eichwald and his step-mother, Ellen Avery, whom he loved and cherished very dearly.

Les was a member of the 1958 graduating class of Pekin Community High School.  He then went into the service where he had proudly served his country in the United States Navy.  He was stationed at N.S.S. Washington D.C. and Beach Master Unit II, Little Creek, Virginia.

He had been a member of the William Schaefer American Legion Post 44 in Pekin.

Les had worked for several car dealerships from here to Carbondale.  He had last worked for the Tazewell County Veteran’s Assistance Commission since 2007, retiring in November, 2018.

He loved and adored his wife and family very much.  He also enjoyed going fishing and watching football.  He really loved to bet on the Super Bowl with his daughter.  He was an avid fan of both the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball and Chicago Bears football. 

His memorial visitation will be Wednesday, July 24, 2019 from 5 until 7 p.m. at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  Military honors will be provided by the Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team at 7 p.m.  There will be no services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, 530 Northeast Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, IL 61637.

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