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William Ehlen

May 22, 1939 ~ December 19, 2018 (age 79)

William J. “Bill” “Joe” Ehlen, 79, of Peoria passed away at 1:12am Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria surrounded by his family.

He was born May 22, 1939 in Peoria, IL the son of Ruth B. Ehlen.  He married Beverly J. Humphrey on December of 1966. She passed away on January 20, 2000.  He later married Mitzie Gutshall Siebels on September 20, 2000.

Surviving are his wife, one granddaughter Andrea Kempke and her children Elijah and Elise Kempke.  Also surviving are one daughter-in-law Debra Chowaniak along with a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

Joe worked for Illinois Department of Transportation for 37 years retiring in 1994.  His proudest moment with IDOT was in 1957, he was the riveting inspector on the construction of the Murray Baker Bridge and in 1968 he was the supervisor on painting of that bridge.  “Long live the Baker”.  Joe was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Peoria. 

His message to Elijah and Elise is, “mind your mom, and your elders, do good in school and yes, there is a Santa Claus”. 

Cremation rites have been accorded. A Celebration of his life will be 11:00am Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Christ Lutheran Church.  Pastor Karl Eckhoff will officiate. Visitation will be from 10:00am until his time of service also at the church. Burial will be at a later date at Swan Lake Memory Gardens in Peoria.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Christ Lutheran Church, 2020 W. Malone St Peoria, IL 61605.  To share a memory, or send a condolence to his family, visit

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