Manuel Perez, age 92 of Beckemeyer, passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese on Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Mr. Perez was born in Donora, Pennsylvania, on August 31, 1925, a son of Ramon and Animia (Gonzalez) Perez. He married Irma Jones on August 19, 1950, and she survives in Beckemeyer.
In addition to his wife Irma, Manuel is also survived by a daughter – Bonnie Perez-Kauling and husband Ken of Beckemeyer; a son – Don Perez and wife Marian of Carlyle; 4 grandchildren – Todd Peppenhorst and friend Lauri Brueggemann, Dennis Perez and wife Stacie, Deanne Perez-Meskil and husband Mike, and Kristopher Kauling and wife Tasha; 6 great grandchildren – Jaron Seiffert, Kynlee Perez, Kaylee Perez, Kaden Meskil, Keaton Kauling, and Kyler Kauling; 2 brothers – Luis Perez and wife Delma of Beckemeyer, and Joseph Perez and wife Joan of St. Louis; and a sister-in-law – Donna Perez of Beckemeyer.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter – Kimberly Lynn Perez; three brothers – Julio Perez and two brothers in infancy; and a sister-in-law – Linda Perez.
Mr. Perez served as Staff Sergeant in the United States Army as a combat engineer and served in the southwest Pacific Theater of Operations invasion force. He served in New Caledonia, the Philippine Islands, and American Okinawa and earned numerous medals including 2 Bronze Stars, Philippines Liberation Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal. Mr. Perez retired from General Motors. He was a 32 Degree Mason since 1963, Scottish Rite Consistory, Valley of Southern Illinois; Sword of Bunker Hill; and the Ainad Shrine Temple. He was awarded a certificate for 50 years of membership in the Holthaus Kampwerth American Legion Post 1227, Beckemeyer. Manuel was a Master Mason in Scott Lodge A.F. & A.M. #79, and a volunteer fireman for the Village of Beckemeyer. He was the oldest living former member of the Beckemeyer Fire Department still living in Beckemeyer and served as Grand Marshall of the Beckemeyer Fire Department 100 Years of Service Parade in 2017.
Funeral services with military honors will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, August 2, 2018, at Zieren Funeral Home in Carlyle. Interment will take place at Beckemeyer Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be held at Zieren Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 1, from 4:00 – 8:00 P.M. and on Thursday from 8:00 – 10:00 A.M. The Masonic service will be held at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday. The Beckemeyer American Legion will honor Mr. Perez on Wednesday at 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home, and the Beckemeyer Fire Department will walk through at 7:30 P.M.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Mr. Perez are suggested to Shriners Hospital for Children or to the Beckemeyer Fire Department and will be received at Zieren Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.zierenfuneralhome.com.