Roy Edward Baranzelli took his first breath on May 8, 1943, and his last on July 30, 2019. And the life he lived during those 76 years was nothing short of extraordinary. His infectious laughter, energy and love of mischief were evident at a very early age, and it earned him the name “Corky” because his grandmother laughed that he bounced up and down just like a cork.
After graduating high school from Kincaid, Illinois, Roy began working at the Illinois Department of Transportation. In 1970, Roy graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he received an engineering degree. Armed with a professional engineering license, Roy worked his way up the ladder at IDOT and was eventually promoted to the title of District Six Construction Engineer where he supervised the construction of some of the largest transportation improvements in the Central Illinois region.
Despite the heavy workload at IDOT, Roy found time to serve his community. He coached baseball and fast pitch softball to hundreds of boys, served as President of the Edinburg School Board, and was one of the founders of the Edinburg Athletic Club. Academics and sports were important to Roy but the cornerstone of his life was his faith. Roy was a pillar of his local church, the Edinburg United Methodist Church, and he served as a leader of the church for more than 40 years. Roy was an avid golfer and he achieved a hole in one not once, but twice in his lifetime. As a die-hard Cub fan, Roy believed in miracles, and his faith was validated in the fall of 2016 when the Chicago Cubs ended a 108 year drought to win the World Series.
Roy achieved much success in his personal and professional life but he achieved true greatness as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. Sparks flew when he met a fiery redhead beauty named Bonnie Sue Cox in 1964, and two years later they married on July 29, 1966. Their fifty-three year marriage was full of joy and produced two children: John David was born on August 20, 1968, and Angela Marie was born on October 29, 1973. Roy was a devoted and beloved “papaw” to five children, Nicholas, Ella, Zachary, Jalen, and Carter. He is survived by two sisters, Karen Spurgeon and Christine Broccardo, one brother, David Baranzelli, a son-in-law, Paul Yoder, a daughter-in-law, Diana Baranzelli, and hundreds of extended family members who considered Roy to be an adopted sibling.
The family would like to thank the amazing men and women of the Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer center for the professionalism, dedication and humanity they demonstrated during Roy’s hospitalization. Everyone that we encountered during Roy’s treatment treated us like members of their family. They helped us navigate the complex and often confusing journey that is so typical of modern cancer treatment, and when Roy’s battle ended, they comforted us in our grief. We will never forget their kindness and their compassion.
One of Roy’s favorite sayings was “It’s a wonderful life if you don’t weaken”. This was a mantra by which he lived his life to the very end. Despite a painful battle with cancer this summer, Roy never did weaken and the life, love and joy he left behind were truly the markings of a wonderful life.
Visitation will be from 5-7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 2, 2019 at Edinburg United Methodist Church. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at the church with Reverend Stan Pratt officiating. Burial will follow at Edinburg Cemetery.
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