PEORIA- Jeffrey Dean Prill, 62, of Peoria, passed away peacefully with his sisters at his side on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
He was born on October 9, 1958, in Peoria, to Clarence and Verna (Musselman) Prill. They preceded him in death. Also preceding are his grandparents, J. Elmer and Emma Prill of Peoria, and Daniel and Susan Musselman of Morton.
Jeff is survived by his two sisters, Jeanette James of Mackinaw and Linda Stoops of Bartonville. He is also survived by two nieces, Tracy (Kurt) Rossouw of Simpsonville, Ky. and Leslie (Josh) Neville of Tremont; three nephews, Steven Baumann of East Peoria, Johnny (Amy) James of Normal, and Andrew (Kristina) Baumann of Bloomington; many great nieces and nephews; one uncle, Dale (Melba) Musselman of Morton; and several cousins.
Jeff attended Limestone-Walters Grade School and graduated from Limestone High School in Bartonville in 1976. He graduated from Eureka College with a bachelor’s degree in Entomology. Jeff was passionate about insects and collected them throughout his life, resulting in a vast collection of beautiful butterflies, moths and beetles, not only from Illinois but also foreign countries—much to the delight of his nieces and nephews. A butterfly net was never very far from him! He was active in the Peoria Entomology group at one time.
He also loved animals, in particular dogs, cats, and his rabbit. Living in the country there were often kittens at the family acreage he so loved to play with. He also had owned two very beloved house cats that shared his home.
Another passion was music. He learned guitar in his teens and continued to play for most of his life. During high school, he gave guitar lessons at Strode Music in Peoria. Besides playing guitar, he enjoyed listening to music. His favorite group was The Beatles. He was also fond of Queen, ABBA and the Eagles.
Jeff enjoyed being with his nieces and nephews when they were young, spending time with them at family gatherings and holidays. He loved seeing all of their photos and videos on Facebook when visited at the nursing home.
Jeff enjoyed traveling with his parents on vacation or alone on his insect trips. He was always looking for more insect species, even in the bark of trees! One of his insect gathering trips took him to Belize. He loved finding as many Illinois insect species as he could, identifying and labeling each. He liked to camp. Jeff enjoyed Sand Ridge State Park and also Wildlife Prairie Park.
For many years Jeff delivered pizza for Pizza Hut and other restaurants, last working at Steak ‘n Shake in Morton.
Jeff was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and is now at peace in the arms of Jesus. He was a quiet, gentle soul and will be missed, but never forgotten by his family and friends. The family gives thanks to the pastors at Bethel Lutheran for giving him spiritual comfort over his time in the nursing home. We also extend a huge thank you to the nurses, CNA’s and others at Aperion Care Peoria Heights who cared for our brother during his stay at the home. He was happy and content. We also thank the hospice nurses from Vitas Healthcare for the compassionate care of Jeff during his last days.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2021, at Lutheran Cemetery in Peoria, officiated by Pastor Jeff Anderson of Bethel Lutheran Church in Morton.
Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Peoria Rescue Mission.
Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.
To view Jeffrey’s online video tribute or to leave a condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com.