MENDOTA - Dennis G. Piller, 73, of Mendota, passed away, June 27, 2021 at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 9 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mendota with Rev. Tom Redig officiating. Mendota VFW Post 4079 will conduct military honors. Cremation rites will be accorded following services and private burial will be at Restland Cemetery, Mendota at a later date. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, July 8 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota.
Dennis was born April 18, 1948 in Mendota to Lester and Dora (Kerchner) Piller. He married Toni Hampton on June 20, 1970.
Survivors include his wife and best friend of 51 years, Toni Piller; one son, Kyle (Tonya) Piller of Independence, La.; one daughter, Kerry (Jason) Yedinak of Ransom; two granddaughters, Kaylie and Mia Piller of Louisiana; four siblings, Marilyn (Albert) Cioni, Kathryn (Ed) Hanson, James (Martha) Piller and Duane (Beth) Piller; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Patricia Marmion.
Dennis attended Mendota High School and received his diploma in 1966. He served in the Vietnam War from 1968-1969 as a Staff Sergeant in the 1st Air Cavalry. He then worked at the Mendota Post Office until he retired in 2010. He was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and Mendota VFW Post 4079. He was also a 50-year member of the Mendota Elks Lodge and a member of Mendota Golf Course. He served as one of the grand marshals of the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival parade during their salute to veterans who protected their country. Dennis’ identity was inseparable from his Army service in the Vietnam War. He joined the Army in 1967 and saw terrible atrocities as he walked from the top of Vietnam through the jungles to the bottom of the country defending America. He was proud of his service for the rest of his life. Those experiences shaped his life and he never forgot those soldiers who did come back. He was chosen to participate in an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. and returned with a new and greater sense of pride for his service during his tour of duty. As a Staff Sergeant, he was awarded a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars. He was also awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Unit Citation, Air Medal and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
Memorials may be directed to the family.