Robert “Ed” Deener, 74, of Geneseo, Ill. died November 23, 2020, at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, Iowa with his loving wife of 50 years by his side. Due to the pandemic and Illinois COVID 19 policies, a private memorial service was held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory - Geneseo Chapel. Reverend Dr. Chris Ritter officiated. Burial followed at Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Geneseo Humane Society.
Ed was born on January 2, 1946 in Albany, Ga., to Robert and Bettye (Juhan) Deener and grew up in Gibson City, Ill. where he graduated high school in 1964. He proudly served in the United States Army during the Vietnam conflict and was stationed in Baumberg, Germany. Upon his return, he attended Southern Illinois University where he received a degree in Journalism and met his future wife. Ed and Debra (Shaw) were married in Altamont, Ill on November 28, 1969. Upon graduating, they moved to the Chicago suburbs where Ed worked for two years at Allstate Insurance. In 1974, they moved to Geneseo, Ill. where they would raise their family. Ed worked in advertising for John Deere & Company for more than 20 years before retiring and starting his own marketing consulting business. He was passionate about supporting the community’s youth and volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, was always in attendance at Geneseo High School sporting events and started “Uncle Ed’s Care Packages” for Geneseo’s recent graduates to ensure they had mail during their first year of college. He enjoyed being involved throughout the community serving as a member of the Geneseo City Council for several years, was a member of the Geneseo Country Club, was proud to serve on the inaugural board for the Geneseo Foundation and was active in the Quad City British Car Club. Ed had many hobbies including being a constant prankster, more than a decade of car racing, collecting British cars, building bird houses, and cooking. However, Ed’s greatest pride was his two daughters. He was always at sporting events and school activities throughout their youth and into college, truly enjoyed building relationships with their friends, and couldn’t pass up a chance to tease or embarrass them publicly - like any good dad would do. He always joked about being outnumbered having three women telling him what to do for so many years. But that changed with the addition of his two son-in-laws and the great joy of his grandsons. He loved having four little boys to spoil. He reveled at buying them ridiculous motorized vehicles against their moms’ wishes, taking them fishing and frog hunting, building them a legendary tree house and playhouse, and having long FaceTime calls and virtual talent shows.
Ed is survived by his wife, Debra of Geneseo; daughters and their spouses Brittney and Brent Keesey of Madison, Wis. and Erin and Fred Loniello of Villa Park, Ill.; grandsons Callahan and Sam Loniello, and Owen and Andrew Keesey; sister Norma (Tom) Hershey of Ellicott City, Md.; sister-in-law Diana (Ron) Quandt of South Bend, Ind.; niece Sara Walters; nephew Chad Quandt; and his best four-legged friend, Maddie.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Bettye Deener.
Posted online on November 28, 2020