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John Fredrick "Johnny" Bilderback
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Birth: Mar. 23, 1935
St. Louis City
Missouri, USA
Death: Dec. 9, 2013
Cape Girardeau
Cape Girardeau County
Missouri, USA

PERCY - John Frederick Bilderback, 78, of Percy, Illinois, passed away at 5:30 pm, Monday, December 9, 2013 at the St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

He was born March 23, 1935 in St. Louis, Missouri, to John Earl and Gladys Allene (Reiman) Bilderback. He grew up on the Bilderback family farm in Levan Township, near Ava, Illinois. He attended Oak Ridge Grade School and graduated from Trico High School in 1954. John and Carolann Pearl Helfers were married March 30, 1957, at Pleasant Hill Christian Church in rural Murphysboro, Illinois. They first made their home in Ava, Illinois, but eventually settled in Percy.

John is survived by his wife, Carol; a daughter, Gwenith Lea Podeschi and husband, John of Taylorville, Illinois; and a son, Kenneth Lee Bilderback and (companion Holly Condo) of Percy. He is also survived by a granddaughter, Emily (Podeschi) Craggs and husband, Maxx of Memphis, TN; and a grandson, Mark Walter Podeschi of Taylorville. Survivors also include his mother-in-law, Marguerite Helfers of Percy; sisters-in-law, Nona Bilderback of Marshall and Thelma Short of New Athens; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law, Walter F. Helfers; brothers, Lester D Bilderback of DuQuoin and Robert E. "Bobby" Bilderback of Marshall; brothers-in-law, Henry Helfers and Billy Short; a sister-in-law, Lorraine Bilderback; and a nephew, Jeffrey S. Short.

Beginning when he was six, John's grandparents, Walter and Emma Bilderback saw to it that he was given guitar lessons and he learned to play the Spanish guitar and steel guitar. He was a gifted musician and vocalist, delighting family, friends, and listeners with favorites like the "Steel Guitar Rag" and "Mother's Picture on the Wall." He was never happier than when he was playing gospel songs and country ballads. He played in a number of bands and music groups throughout the years and met the love of his life while practicing and performing with his future father-in-law when still in high school. He was often asked to perform for local churches and public events and was known to share his music with audiences far and wide in southwestern Illinois and eastern Missouri. After his retirement, he also began playing the mandolin, banjo and ukulele.

John had also enjoyed fishing and hunting earlier in life and liked to turn his hand to jigsaw puzzles when he was younger. He worked for the Sperry Rail Service for ten years as a rail inspection technician traveling extensively throughout the United States and eastern Canada on the "Sperry Car." He left Sperry in 1969 and came home to be closer to his family, working as an employee of Spartan Light Metals for thirty-two years. He retired in 2001, spending his last years at the foundry as "tool crab", serving as the careful guardian of the tool room.

Funeral service will be at 1:00 pm, Saturday, December 14, 2013 at the Wilson's Funeral Home in Percy with Rev. Marvin "Bud" Bennett officiating. Burial will follow in Percy Village Cemetery, Percy, Illinois. Visitation will be at Wilson's Funeral Home, Percy, where friends may call from 9:30 am until 1:00 pm Saturday. Memorials may be given to Wesley United Methodist church or Hospice of Southern Illinois. 
Family links: 
  John Earl Bilderback (1909 - 1967)
  Gladys A Reiman Bilderback (1909 - 1982)
  Lester Dean Bilderback (1931 - 2000)*
  John Fredrick Bilderback (1935 - 2013)
  Robert Gene Bilderback (1940 - 2011)*
  Robert Gene Bilderback (1940 - 2011)*
*Calculated relationship
Percy Village Cemetery
Randolph County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Rob A DeRossett
Record added: Dec 09, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 121485816
John Fredrick Johnny Bilderback
Added by: Rob A DeRossett
John Fredrick Johnny Bilderback
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Tanya Davis
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Rob A DeRossett
 Added: Dec. 9, 2013

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