Ben E. McCollum, 86, of Rockford, IL passed away on January 1, 2020 in Rockford, IL. He was born on February 17, 1933 in South Guilford, MO to Herman and Nola (Peavler) McCollum. Ben married his loving wife of 68 years, Gladys Hoeg, on September 6, 1951 in Rockford, IL. Ben faithfully served our country in the United States Army during the Korean War as an Airborne Paratrooper. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant First Class on June 2, 1954. Ben received the Korean Service Medal with the Bronze Service Star, the National Defense Service Medal, and 2 Purple Hearts.
After his military career, he began working as an operator for an Electrical Union. Ben was a life member of the VFW Post 1461, the Masonic Temple, and the American Legion. Ben loved riding Harleys, drinking Pabst beer, traveling, dancing and partying, and feeding the birds and squirrels near his home. But more importantly, Ben loved spending time with his family and friends.
Ben will be dearly missed by his loving wife, Gladys’ his children, Rick McCollum, Cheryl (Leroy) Romine, and Steven McCollum; his sister, Patricia Baldridge; his grandchildren, Ben (Becky) Boettcher, Randy (Donelle) Boettcher, Justin (Josephine) Romine, Jason (Carol) McCollum, Jeremy (Lakin) McCollum, Steven McCollum, Candis Cassioppi, Marc (Sheri) Romine, Melanie Brown; 17 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Julia; his sisters, Anita Poe, Ella Blythe, Linda Mason, and Cytella Mendoza; and his brothers, Herman “Leroy” McCollum, Drexel McCollum, Randal McCollum, and Roscoe McCollum.
The visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services. The funeral ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services. The burial will be at Belvidere Cemetery. Pastor Duane Boehm will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ben’s name may be gifted to the Shriner Hospital in his honor. To light a candle or write a condolence, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com.