John D. “Jack” Reilly, 85, a 50-year resident of Illiopolis, died Saturday, August 3, 2019 at his family home. He was born July 2, 1934 in Dunbar, PA to James and Janet (Duffy) Reilly. He married Ardeth “Ardie” Herron on August 30, 1956 in Bay City, Texas. She preceded him in death on April 4, 2018.
After graduating from Dunbar Township High School, Dunbar, PA, Class of 1952, Jack received a degree in civil engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology (Carnegie Mellon University), Pittsburgh, PA. After graduation he worked for Phillips 66 in Sweeney, Texas and later in Phillips, Texas, an oil refinery town.
In 1969 the family with their five children moved from Texas to Illiopolis. Jack worked as a plant engineer and finally retired from Borden Chemicals and Plastics (BCP/Formosa) in Illiopolis, IL.
For a brief period, Jack and Ardie moved to Baton Rouge, LA for BCP. It was in Louisiana that Jack and Ardie became collectors of tropical Bromeliads. After their return, Jack built a large greenhouse across the front of their ranch home. They accumulated thousands of plants over the years and showed them as members of the Bromeliad Society of Greater Chicago, and the International Bromeliad Society. Jack also served as First Vice President for the BSI in the early 2000s. Jack and Ardie often traveled to conferences across the U.S. and to the Mexican Yucatan and Guatemala where they collected native and wholesale bromeliads for their personal company - JAR Bromeliads.
Jack was an active member of the Illiopolis Catholic Resurrection Parish; was a member of the Illiopolis Wabash Park Committee; and served on the Illiopolis/Niantic Public Library for many years. Jack and Ardie generously shared their horticultural enthusiasm spreading their love of gardening and plants throughout the community.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife, parents, James and Janet (Duffy) Reilly, his aunt Elizabeth “Pete” (Duffy) Wollett and uncle David Duffy. He is survived by his children John (Cathy) Reilly of Dawson; Pamela (Michael Alexander) Reilly of Yorktown, VA; David (Lisa) Reilly of Kennewick, WA; Christy (Fred) Reilly Worrell of Illiopolis; and Patricia (Eric) Reilly Bramlet of Mt. Carmel; his 10 grandchildren John “Jack” Reilly III, Scott Reilly, Calla Reilly, Emma Reilly, Ashley (Erin) Reilly Staley, Dallas (Jennifer) Reilly, Leslie (Alisha) Worrell, Kyle Worrell, Erica Bramlet, Chase Bramlet; and great grandsons Rowan and Alder Reilly.
Visitation will be on Thursday, August 8th, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Fullenwider Park Funeral Home, Illiopolis, IL. Mass will be 11 am., Friday, August 9th, 2019 at the Resurrection Parish Catholic Church, Illiopolis, IL. There will be a short hour Visitation before mass. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, Illiopolis, IL. A reception will follow at the Resurrection Parish Village Hall. Memorial donations can be made to the Illiopolis Summer Recreation Program and the Illiopolis/Niantic Public Library.