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William Frederick “Bill” Trent, 97, of Peoria passed away on October 15, 2022.
He was born October 4, 1925 to William R. and Elizabeth K. (Walton) Trent in Spencer, IN. Bill married Margaret Ann Burns on October 15, 1949 in Gosport, IN. She preceded him in death, as well as both of his parents and granddaughter Yinuo.
He is survived by his four children, William B. (Cathie) Trent of Dunlap, Michael S. Trent of Peoria, Andrew S. (Zoe) Trent of Tucson, AZ, and Julia Trent (Mark) Luchsinger of Southlake, TX; grandchildren Savannah and Sasha, Stacy (John), Katie and Amy, Mitchell and Marshall (Katie), Trent and Carson and three great-grandchildren, Will, Claire and Lily.
Bill graduated from Spencer High School in 1943 and received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1949. During World War II, he enlisted and spent two years during college in the U.S. Army at airbases in Mississippi and Florida. While at Purdue, he was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He began his career at Caterpillar Tractor Company in August 1949, where he was in Sales Merchandising until his retirement in July 1987. While at Caterpillar, he was an integral member of several international trade associations on behalf of Caterpillar.
He was an active member of two churches in Peoria: Westminster Presbyterian and First Federated Church, where he served in many capacities, including usher, deacon and elder, as well as a member of many committees.
Bill served on numerous boards of several philanthropic institutions throughout his life. He was a Trustee of Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, President of the Illinois Valley Antique Auto Club, President of the Arts and Sciences Council, Board Member of South Side Mission, Hines School (District 113), and Peoria City Beautiful. He was a founding Board Member and active volunteer for over 40 years of Wheels O’ Time Museum in Dunlap, where he spent countless hours and made many friendships.
He was an active participant in the Purdue University Alumni Association as well as a Lifetime Member of The John Purdue Club, where he enjoyed fellowship with many other local and national Purdue Alumni friends.
Bill was a lifelong enthusiast of all things transportation-related, especially antique automobiles and locomotives. He was especially fond of his restorations of his 1912 Hudson Model T and his 1925 Star Model F Touring Car, both of which are on display at Wheels O’ Time Museum. He was instrumental in restoring the Danville passenger cars of the trains formerly located at Vonachen’s in Junction City.
He was tremendously fond of his relationships with his friends and family and enjoyed time in meaningful conversation daily. His intellect, sense of humor and considerable compassion will be greatly missed. A private inurnment will take place at the First Federated Church Columbarium. Memorial contributions can be made to Wheels O’ Time Museum, 1710 West Woodside Drive, Dunlap, IL 61525.
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