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Daniel O'Day 1955-2018

Dan O'Day, 63, of Peoria, died Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in the company of his wife and daughters.

Dan was born on June 14, 1955 in Dubuque, Iowa, to James and Cecelia (Hadacek) O'Day and moved to Peoria as a young child. During his teenage years, he worked at the A&W Root Beer stand, which gave him great stories to tell and friendships that lasted throughout his life. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University, he graduated magma cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1981. While in law school, he was selected as a member of the Law Review, received the Rickert Award for Excellence in Legal Writing, and was Order of the Coif. Throughout his career, Dan was recognized by several professional organizations for his excellence in legal writing and criminal and civil defense. Practicing law was more than his career; it was his passion.

He married Donna Shores on May 18, 1985. Together, they raised two daughters, Bree (Trey Allen) O’Day and Molly (Brian) Myers. Over the past year, Dan and Donna became grandparents to Leah Myers and Miles Allen, who then became the new lights of their lives. Dan often referred to himself as “Grumpa” (the grumpy grandpa), although anybody who knew him personally knew that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Dan is survived by his parents of Port Richey, Fla.; two brothers, David (Anna) O'Day of Peoria and Tom (Lynn) O'Day of Port Richey, Fla.; and one sister, Connie Wendle of West Chester, Ohio. Dan also leaves behind his mother-in-law, siblings-in-law, nieces, and nephews, all of whom he cherished as part of his immediate family.

Dan enjoyed researching recipes and then adding his own touch to make delicious dishes (who else would have thought to put Red Hots in an apple pie?), spending time at the lake, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs. However, there was nothing that Dan loved more than gathering his family together. Dan even purchased a long conference room table to put in his dining room so that he could fit as many people as possible around his table. He spent many nights bringing together the people he loved around this table and serving them his famous homemade biscuits and gravy, pies, or pizza. Friends and family will also remember Dan’s legendary “doggy bags,” because he never let anybody leave his home without snacks for later.

Posted on September 17, 2018 by Rhys Saunders