Wesley's Story

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Wesley Roy Bracken, 87, of Morton, Illinois, passed away at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, 2015, in Morton.. He was born July 5, 1927, in Altamont, Illinois, to Roy and Rosalie Mae (Chase) Bracken. Wesley was a 1944 graduate of Effingham High School in Effingham, Illinois. He served with the United States Army from August 1945 to September 1946. He married Phyllis Louise Wirth on Oct. 15, 1949, and attended Bradley University from 1949 to 1951.. Wesley started his career with Caterpillar Inc. on June 12, 1944, and retired with 40 years of service. While at Caterpillar, Wesley completed the four-year machinist apprenticeship; was Heat Treat management and development supervisor in East Peoria, Illinois; was Heat Treat manager and factory manager in Gosselies, Belgium; was a manager in Morton; was facility manager at the Bettendorf Re-Manufacturing Facility in Bettendorf, Iowa; and last worked as the assistant director of manufacturing at the general offices in Peoria, Illinois, until his retirement.. He was a member of the Morton United Methodist Church; Lions Club; Kiwanis; Scottish Rite; and Wilmor Sportsman’s Club.. Wesley loved his family and friends, was a longtime Chicago Cubs fan; loved his farm, where he raised Arabian horses; and cherished his family, friends and especially the lifelong friendships with the Caterpillar Belgium gang.. Surviving are his wife of more than 65 years, Phyllis Bracken, of Morton; his children, Linda (Darrel) Keyser, of Mackinaw, Illinois, Stephen Wesley (Teresa) Bracken, of Zionsville, and Donna (Bob) Frietsch, of East Peoria; five grandchildren, Dawn Bracken (Sean Overlot), of Morton, Robert W. (Jessica) Frietsch and Robin Frietsch, both of East Peoria, Sean Bracken and Stefanie Bracken, both of Zionsville; one great-granddaughter, Hannah Evans, of Pekin, Illinois; several step-grandsons and step-great-grandchildren; one sister, Delores Brookman, of Windsor Locks, Connecticut; two brothers, Don (Carol) Bracken, of Morton, and Richard (Nancy) Bracken, of Harmony, Wisconsin; his sister-in-law, Evelyn Bracken, of East Peoria; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.. Wesley was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Juanita Gutshall; and one brother, Harold Bracken.. Visitation was Friday, May 8, at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton.. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, or Scottish Rite of Peoria.. To view Wesley’s video tribute or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com.
Published on  May 13, 2015
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