Patrick James “P.J.” Broderick, 88, of Savanna died on August 16, 2012, at Big Meadows Nursing Home. He was born May 6, 1924, on a farm near Morrison, Illinois, to Frank and Maurece Broderick. Surviving are his wife of 63 year, Kathryn, and three children: James (Cheryl) of Gilman, Illinois, Thomas of Peoria, Illinois, and Mary (David) Broderick Krier of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and one grandson, Keith (Becca) Broderick of Moore, Oklahoma. Also surviving are his brother Gene Broderick of Rock Falls, Illinois, and two sisters, Charlene (Ken) Gilbreath of Houston, Texas and Dolores (Carl) Nelson of Sterling, Illinois.
P.J. served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1958, he and his family moved to Woodland Township in Carroll County, where he engaged in farming activities until 1995. While farming, he began several business ventures, first establishing a residential building company, Broderick Builders, and in 1970, the Thomson Development Corporation. In 1972, he became an investor in the Thomson State Bank, and served as a director for several years. He also owned and operated radio station WACI in Freeport, Illinois, from 1972 to 1982. P.J. was a true entrepreneur, and although he had little formal education, he offered his knowledge, experience, and business insights to those in the community who sought his advice.
P.J. was active in politics, and in 1977, he and several family members attended the Inauguration of President Jimmy Carter. In 2009, he was honored by Carroll County Democrats for his lifetime commitment to the Democratic Party. P.J. was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 55 years, establishing the Savanna A.A. group, speaking in neighboring communities in Illinois and Iowa, and directly assisting individuals and families struggling with this disease. His generosity to less fortunate people in need of financial and other services was well-known in the community.
In addition to being a member of St. John’s Catholic Church, P.J. worked to make Savanna a better community. He initiated a clean-up of the riverfront area, after which a street was dedicated and named in his family’s honor. He was involved in the creation of Rolling Hills, contributed to the local food bank, and helped preserve the history of Savanna by supporting the Savanna Historical Museum.
Visitation will be 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at Law-Jones Funeral Home in Savanna. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 23, 2012 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church , with burial immediately following the service in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery. A memorial has been established for local charities in P.J.’s memory.