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Richard J. Smelz, 92, of Peru, passed away peacefully on the morning of January 27, 2018, at Manor Court of Peru.
Private graveside services will be held at Peru City Cemetery, with full Military Honors. Arrangements are through the Hurst Funeral Home, LaSalle.
Richard was born November 27, 1925, in LaSalle, to Earl and Mabel (Grimshaw) Smelz.
He married Florence Krasinski in 1952.
He was a decorated WWII Veteran, serving as an Aerial Gunner Sergeant with the 3541 Army Air Force Base Unit. He was a POW from December 1944 until liberated in May 1945.
Richard was employed by Electrical Utilities Company and retired from Ronken Industries. In his later years, he enjoyed his daily breakfast at HyVee and spending time outdoors with neighbors and friends.
He is survived by his children Catherine (Gary) Ghighi, Linda (Robert) Glover, Richard Jr(Rick) and Laura (Laurie) Hooper and 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife in April, 2017.