1924 - 2016

Erwin Elias Towne, 92, of Groveland, passed away at 11:35 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22, 2016, at his home.

Born July 12, 1924, in Pekin to Leon D. and Ada Louise Hieber Towne, he married Frances Rhoda Hilst June 22, 1946, in Pekin. She died Jan. 16, 2000, in Groveland.

He also was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Clifford Towne.

Surviving are two sons, Allen P. (Lyn) Towne of Leland, N.C., and Erwin G. “Bud” (Theresa) Towne of Groveland; one daughter, Sharon L. (Merle D., Jr.) Clemens of Groveland; six grandchildren, Dirk A. (Julie) Clemens of East Peoria, Jennifer Reese Leland, N.C., Kelly A. (Adam) Kuczkowski of Palmyra, Wis., Jessica Riscili of Springfield, Ore., Travis Erwin Towne of Peoria and Bree Towne of Groveland; and four great-grandchildren.

Erwin was a World War II Navy veteran. Following his discharge from the Navy, he continued to serve in the Illinois National Guard and attained the rank of Sergeant.

Erwin was a visionary and real estate developer. He developed five subdivisions in and around Groveland including the Erwin Towne Subdivisions with two additions, Whispering Oaks with three additions, Northern Oaks and Grand Oaks. He also is well known as the builder, proprietor and chaplain of the Old Towne Grove Wedding Chapels in Groveland. He previously had worked at Caterpillar Inc. as a welder. He will be remembered as a self-made man who took great initiative in life.

He was a master woodcarver and had the opportunity to present two of his limited edition carvings to President Nixon at the White House and to President Ford, while visiting in Peoria. He also had a God given gift to be able to write and speak on subjects such as Groveland History, Native American artifacts and carving missions.

Erwin loved trains and was involved with and followed the Illinois Rail Association.

He was a member of Groveland Missionary Church.

His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at Groveland Missionary Church. The Rev. Marvin Claassen will officiate.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.

Burial will be in Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin, with military rites accorded by the United States Navy.

Memorial contributions may be made to Groveland Missionary Church Benevolent Fund, P.O. Box 10, Groveland, IL 61535.

To offer condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com.