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Kenneth Lee "Ken" Pickerill

December 14, 1927 September 12, 2019
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Pickerill
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Obituary for Kenneth Lee "Ken" Pickerill

Kenneth L. Pickerill, age 91, of Oswego, IL passed away September 12, 2019 at his residence. He was born December 14, 1927 near Summit, KY, the son of William and Luna Pickerill nee Pence.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Jacqueline Pickerill nee Brooks, his mother and father, his sister Eula Adams, his brother Charles Pickerill, and his sister Rosave Handy.

He is survived by his sister Martha Vanko, numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and countless men and women he inspired in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in everyday life.

Ken was a beloved husband, son, brother and uncle. He will be remembered for his work ethic, leadership, all around good nature, and numerous philanthropic works.

He began his athletic career in 1942 at Streator High School, being the first person to earn four varsity letters in football and more total letters than any other person in the school's history. He also pursued many academic interests and always worked to help provide for his family.

Ken graduated early in 1945 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, proudly serving on the U.S.S. Gosselin.

After being honorably discharged he enrolled at Northern Illinois University in 1948. Like in High School, he started as quarterback on the football team. It was during this time in DeKalb that Ken met the love of his life, Jacqueline Brooks. They graduated together in 1952 and were married in 1953. They lived happily together for 48 years as man and wife, best friends and business partners. Jackie passed in 2001 and Ken missed her terribly each and every day.

Ken began his teaching and coaching career at Oswego High School in 1952. He also continued his education, earning his Master's degree in 1959. In High School he had done back-breaking labor at the Streator Drain Tile and always would recall how the older men there stressed to him the importance of getting an education.

In 1971, Ken and Jackie opened The Jaqueline Shop located in downtown Oswego. They ran the shop together with style, aplomb and great business sense until 1996. During that time, it was the place to go for your wedding, prom or homecoming.

Ken may be best remembered by the community he and Jackie loved so dearly as "Pick". During his time at Oswego High School, he was athletic director and head football coach for 15 years, earning 5 football championships; head wrestling coach for 11 years, with 8 all-state wrestlers and 3 state championships; baseball coach for 9 years, with 1 regional and 1 district championship; and was inducted into the Illinois High School wrestling, baseball and football coaches halls of fame. Ken was an Illinois Merit Award winner, recognized by the ISBE in 1998.

"When you are poor, I guess you try to excel in something that will put you on a level with your peers. In my case, sports became my passion.." Ken Pickerill.

Public visitation will be held at DUNN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME with CREMATORY located at 1801 S. Douglas Rd Oswego, IL 60543, on Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 2:00 PM until 6:00 PM.

Private family burial will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Oswego Cats Baseball c/o Todd Miller 2010 Farmington Lakes Dr. Unit 4 Oswego 60543.

For information: 630/554-3888 or

To plant a tree in memory of Kenneth Lee "Ken" Pickerill, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





2:00 PM 9/22/2019 2:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 9/22/2019 6:00:00 PM
Dunn Family Funeral Home With Crematory

1801 South Douglas Road
P.O. Box 665
Oswego, IL 60543

Funeral service and burial will be private

Dunn Family Funeral Home With Crematory
1801 South Douglas Road Oswego 60543 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Oswego Cats Baseball c/o Todd Miller, 2010 Farmington Lakes Dr., Unit 4, Oswego, IL 60543


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