Erich Wendolin Westphal, 71, died Sunday, April 25. Born August 3, 1949, in Villach, Austria, to Wendolin and Eleonore Westphal, he emigrated to the United States with his mother, father, and sister in 1951. They arrived on Christmas Eve that year in New York Harbor aboard the U.S.N.S. Hershey, a milestone the family celebrated during the holidays for years to come. Erich grew up in Macomb and married Brenda Beck on June 13, 1970.
He spent his career in law enforcement, working for the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety and the Fulton County’s Sheriff’s Department. He retired in 2004 from the Illinois State Police District 9 as a master sergeant. Erich loved 50s/60s pop culture, music, classic cars and pinball. You could find him most days listening to his jukebox, tinkering with his 1963 Impala or playing pinball in his outdoor space, nicknamed “Erich’s Toy Box.” His hugs were the best. He looked forward to car shows every year and regular breakfasts with friends. There will be songs on the radio that will remind us of him forever. We miss him already.
He is survived by his wife, Brenda; daughter, Keri (Brad) Guilinger of Morris; daughter, Melissa Westphal (Andrew Wright) of Rockford; sister, Martha (Ronnie) Clark; grandchildren, Maddi and Adam Guilinger; and numerous extended family members and friends.
The family thanks Dr. Amit Gupta and Brittney Veenstra and their team with Springfield Clinic, and Dr. William Hawkins and his team at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis for helping us navigate dad’s battle with pancreatic cancer.
Friends may view and sign the register book from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Jones Mortuary in Colchester. Visitation with the family will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 1, 2021 at the Jones Mortuary. Cremation rites will be accorded after the day of viewing at the funeral home. Private graveside services will be held at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Colchester at a later date. The family will host a celebration of life in Williamsville at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in his name to the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation, Cool Cruisers or Rt. 97 car clubs, or Springfield Clinic Cancer Center. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.jonesmortuaryfh.com.
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