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Steven Robert Defenbaugh
April 23, 1955 ~ January 18, 2024 (age 68) 68 Years Old
Steven Robert Defenbaugh (68) went to be with Jesus on January 18, 2024. He was born April 23, 1955, in Peoria, Illinois. His soulmate, Sherry, of 43 years preceded him in death on May 22, 2020. He married Gayle (Smith) Silkwood on August 28, 2021, who survives. Steve leaves behind his twin brother, Scott (Gail) Defenbaugh of Bismarck, Illinois, and his sister Linda (Jim) Carey of Danville, Illinois. Steve and Sherry were blessed with two beautiful children, Nicole (Lance) Wolfe of Covington, Indiana, and Chad (Emily Overlander) Defenbaugh of Appleton, Wisconsin. He was especially proud of his six grandchildren: Addison, Audrey, and Ashlynn Wolfe; and Logan, Hudson, and Olivia Defenbaugh. Steve’s parents Evelyn and Harold Defenbaugh also preceded him in death. Gayle brought to the family her adult children: Jeffrey (Mary Ufert) Silkwood, Kimberly (Chase) Pittman, and Kari (Dustin) DeNeal and 10 grandchildren.
Steve enjoyed an active childhood in Peoria, Illinois. He and his siblings spent many summers in nearby Farmington on the farm of his Uncle John and Aunt Chris Baudino hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, and enjoying the great outdoors. Steve attributed his love for nature and the skills he used throughout his lifetime to his time spent on the farm.
By the age of 14, Steve rebuilt his first motorcycle and was soon able to fix just about any vehicle he got his hands on. This led him to a love for restoring antique cars. Over the years, he rebuilt five English sports cars. His interest in building carried over into construction and remodeling homes that his family occupied including one he designed and built on a 5-acre mini farm in Georgetown, Illinois. One of his greatest passions was organic gardening and canning fresh produce from the garden and orchard.
Steve attended Illinois State University, graduating with degrees in Industrial Technology and Philosophy. After college, Steve went on to a career in Engineering and Industrial manufacturing in the Aerospace industry for over 40 years. After retiring, he continued with his Aerospace experience by helping to restore old WWII aircraft.
Sherry’s deep personal faith led Steve to accept Jesus as his personal Savior. He was active in church work. He enjoyed teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, serving as a Deacon, being active in building committees, and leading Grief Share groups.
His children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends will remember the many stories Steve could recall for any occasion, but mostly they will remember him as a strong, Godly man of integrity.
Donations may be given in Steve’s memory to the Reach Building Campaign at Second Church of Christ in Danville, Illinois.
A Memorial Service for Steve will take place at 11AM on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at Second Church of Christ in Danville, IL. Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Danville is assisting the family with arrangements.
Please join Steve’s family in sharing memories, photos and videos on his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.