Peter Cacciatore - 82
7/26/1932 - 9/13/2014
Peter Ignatius Cacciatore, 82, of Byron, Illinois died peacefully at home surrounded by his family after valiantly living eight years with cancer. He was born in Rockford, Illinois, to Peter S. and Domenica “Minnie” Bonafede) Cacciatore July 27, 1932. He was President of his 1951 graduating class of Saint Thomas High School where he excelled in football and social skills. He, along with many other young men of that time, went into the military in service of their country during the Korean Conflict. Pete's choice was the Army Air Force, going first to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas, then to the new McConnell AFB in Kansas. A 62 year long love affair had its beginning when he met and married Wanda Mae Murphy.of Wichita, Kansas. Pete and Wanda enjoyed the three years and many friends made during the time spent in Wichita before he was sent to Pusan, Korea for the remainder of his four year enlistment. Wanda and their two little ones and expected third child spent that year living with Nana and Nanoo Pete while waiting for his return. Pete managed the service club and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant while in Korea. Upon his return, he joined his father, founder with his brothers of the Rockford Cacciatore & Sons Grocery stores, in Byron, Illinois. From that first 2,000 square foot Stukenberg Bros. store and a joining of the former Johnson and Reber store across the street, Pete and Wanda eventually bought out their partners. . In 1973 the new 10,000 square foot Cacciatore Byron Food Mart was built on Highway 2. Several additions were added through the years, eventually becoming the present full service supermarket. Pete retired in 2006 after a career of serving the Byron and surrounding communities with what the Illinois Supermarket Magazine described as a "Big Store in a Small Town," for 53 years. Pete served on the board of many Illinois Supermarket organizations. He was elected to and served on the Certified Grocers Board of Directors for nineteen years. During that time he served on the Executive Board and also as Chairman of the Board. He was on the Illinois Food Retailer Association Board of Directors and organized a Northern Illinois Advertising group. The Byron store and Pete's way of operating was used as a model for many new businesses. He was always looking for a new way to serve his customers better. Cacciatore's was the first store in Northern Illinois to install the new "scanning" machines and later a Video Rental department. Murphy's Deli Restaurant emanated from Pete and Wanda's desire to have a place to get a better hamburger!!! Pete and his family were mentors to the hundreds of employees throughout the fifty-three years they were in business in Byron. Hundreds of young carry-outs and checkers were a part of Cacciatore's through the years and credit their experience at the store with teaching them a solid work ethic. Pete's motto was always - Be Firm but Fair. Pete received countless awards throughout his lifetime. First among these would be The Best Husband and Father as well as Greatest Nanoo and Great-Nanoo to his family. He was a member and past president of Byron Rotary, past member of the American Legion, a founding member of the Byron Chamber of Commerce, Founder of ByronFest 1988, and Honorary Parade Marshall in 2012, Byron Citizen of the Year 1985, and CC Business of the Year 1998. He proudly served as Co-chairman of Saint Mary's Building Fund, 1974 and was proud of the beautiful new church. He served on the Parish Council and was a founding member of Byron's St. Vincent de Paul Society. April 20ll he received Saint Mary's Parish Recognition Award. He served on the boards of Ogle County Hospice, People Helping People, and inspired the renewal of the Byron 4th of July Celebration. He worked with others to fund Byron's first ambulance. He felt privileged to donate the sandwiches for Byron sports teams, and rolls, etc. to Byron Firefighters and EMTs. Many organizations knew that if there was a need for help, they could always depend upon Pete. He loved Byron and its people and he has heard since his retirement just how much he meant to them. Pete enjoyed watching the Bears and the Cubs and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Bulls play, during the Michael Jordan years especially. He and Wanda took up downhill skiing in their early 50's and enjoyed ski trips to Vail. They loved their time on Longboat Key, Florida - a few weeks at a time. He liked racquet ball, golf, his old poker group, and the lunches at C.J.s with old buddies from St Thomas and family celebrations at Ciao Bella. He is survived by his wife and best friend Wanda, his son Peter Stephan Cacciatore, Byron; daughters Cynthia (John) Kennay, Ashton; Sharon (Terry) Tamanauskas Byron; Kathryn (Jeff) Feste, Byron; grandchildren, Amy (Jason) Wombacher, Byron; Robert (Carolyn) Haye III; Shary (Neil) Hahn, Solon, Iowa; Katy (Shelly) Haye. Macon, Georgia; Beth (Adam) McCostlin, Chicago, Illinois; Peter A. Cacciatore, Byron; Jeffrey H. Feste, Byron; Jordan M. Feste, Byron; great-grandchildren, Matthew Hunter, Ryann and Kathryn Wombacher, Robert James (R.J.) and Audrianna Haye, Byron; Lyla, Hunter and Landry Peter Hahn, Solon, Iowa; William Ignatius and Merideth McCostlin, Chicago, Illinois. Pete's love of his little cairn terrier – “TJ”--Tyra Je McCairn was boundless. He was predeceased by his parents, brother, Steve Cacciatore; and sister, Marian Giovingo. Wanda and Pete's family would like to send their love and thanks to Dr. Edward Creagam of Mayo Clinic, Dr. Michael Kouimelus and the OSF Team of Doctors, Nurses and CNAs and the Byron EMTs for their care and many kindnesses to Pete.
Christian funeral mass will be held Thursday Sept. 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM in St. Mary Catholic Church, 226 East 2nd St., Byron with Father Howard Barch celebrating. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 4:00-7:00 PM, with the rosary recited at 7:00 PM, in the Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 506 W. Merchant St., Byron. Memorials may be made in his name to Poor Clare's Corpus Christi, Rockford, Serenity Hospice & Home, Oregon, Il., and
Village of Progress, Oregon, Il.
Wed. 4:00-7:00 PM with Rosary at 7 PM at FHG--Byron
Thursday 10:30 AM Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church--ByronView Peter Cacciatore's Guestbook