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James B. Pellino: 1922-2018

STREATOR — James B. Pellino, 95, of Streator, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Burgess Square Healthcare in Westmont.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at St. Patrick’s Church, Ransom. The Rev. Fr. Anthony Ego will officiate. Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Patrick’s Church, Ransom. Burial will be in Allen Township Cemetery, Streator. Pallbearers will be his grandsons, Troy and Trent Rathbun, Justin and Keaton Pellino; and Mitch Jacoby and Dino Swan. Full military rites will be accorded by members of the Ottawa American Legion Post 33 Veterans Group Honor Guard. Solon-Telford Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Born Aug. 5, 1922, in Marseilles, he was the son of John and Helen (Dawson) Pellino. He married Norma Faye Plymire on Aug. 10, 1946, in Marseilles. She preceded him in death on Feb. 8, 2015.

He is survived by a daughter, Debbie (Rod) Rathbun, of Streator; a son, Thad (Sharon Graham) Pellino, of Westmont; grandchildren, Troy (Lynn) Rathbun, of Morton, Tara (Mitch) Jacoby, of Shorewood, and Trent (Cathy) Rathbun, of Aurora, Justin (Colleen) Pellino, of Seattle, Wash., Keaton Pellino, of Westmont, and Juliana Pellino, of Westmont; and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; sisters, Helen Bousman, Susie Mautino and Mary Stebbins; and brothers, Edward, Richard and John Pellino.
Born and raised in Marseilles, he attended Marseilles grade schools and graduated from Marseilles High School. After high school he worked for Seneca Shipyards and also on an Illinois River Barge with trips back and forth to St. Louis.
James served in the United States Army during WWII in the 42nd infantry 362nd battalion
as corporal sergeant and staff sergeant from 1941 to 1946. He served 18 months overseas in Germany, France, Italy and Belgium.
He was the recipient of the Bronze Star for protecting his patrol by enemy mortars. He was in charge of German SS troops POW camp in Austria. During his time in charge of the POW camp, he had a portrait painted by a German POW artist who was thought to have also painted Hitler’s portrait. The artist used a piece of canvas from James’ tent and painted the portrait in exchange for a few packs of cigarettes.
After his military service he went into a career as a plasterer and cement mason. While living in Ransom, James, along with his wife, Norma, owned and operated Pellino’s Confectionary Store in Ransom for several years.
He worked as an independent plasterer for several different contractors. He worked for several years at the La Salle Nuclear Plant. He was a member of the Cement and Plaster Mason’s Union. He was a member of the Ransom American Legion Post and served as the former commander. He also was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
A strong man of faith with a devotion to the Virgin Mary and the Rosary, he enjoyed woodworking, playing cards and gardening. He was a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish.
Memorials may be directed to St. Michael School, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Greater Peoria Honor Flight.
Online condolences may be left for the family at

Solon-Telford Funeral Home
301 S. Park St., Streator, IL 61364

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