MATTOON -- Joel “Joe” Cleve Kimery age 74 passed away at 7:15 a.m. Monday April 22, 2019 at home with his wife, Verita at his side after a long and valiant battle with cancer.

Funeral Services honoring his life will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Schilling Funeral Home with Pastor Steve Morgan officiating. Burial with Military Rites will follow at Resthaven Memorial Gardens. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26, 2019 at the funeral home.

Joe was born June 9, 1944 in Mattoon Il, the son of Harold L. and Adeline Bell (Maxedon) Kimery. He married Verita “Vee” Marie Froula December 26, 1982 in Mattoon IL.

He is survived by his devoted partner and wife, Vee, one son, Jacob “Jake” Charles Kimery and wife Cristen and his adored grandchildren Scarlett Jo and Jack Charles, brother Stephen L. Kimery of Sycamore IL, sisters Paula Jean Kimery of Mattoon IL and Rebecca (Kimery) Coduto (Angelo) of Sanford , FL, special cousin Bonnie Lane (Bill) of Neoga , IL Nieces and Nephews: Derek Storm, Joel Storm, Scott Kimery, Stephen Bushur, Heather (Bushur) Lindamood, Brian Coduto, and Megan Coduto. Joel was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Adeline and sister Linda Lee Kimery Storm and cousins Lorraine Kimery Ciardini and Lorice Kimery and nephew John Kimery.

Joe was an Army Veteran, teacher and Entrepreneur. He was devoted to both his businesses and his family, but found his greatest pleasure in spending time playing with his Grandchildren. Before his Mothers recent passing, Joe cherished the time he spent with his Mom, particularly watching Jeopardy together.

Joe felt blessed to have been raised in a loving Christian home. There was always plenty of activity with the five siblings, 3 cousins and always several additional friends at their home on Champaign Avenue.

Joe attended Mattoon High School where he excelled in basketball, baseball and football. He won many accolades including Basketball ALL BIG 12, and was voted Best Athlete at Mattoon HS 1961-2 He graduated in the Class of ’62 and went on to play Baseball, Soccer and Basketball at Greenville college. There he won numerous awards including being the first Sophomore to win MVP of the annual Thanksgiving Tourney. While at Greenville College his Basketball team traveled to compete in Nevada and Arizona. On this trip Joe caught his first look at Las Vegas and he was so infatuated by the city that he was determined to return there…… and he did many, many times. He was a great promoter of Las Vegas and introduced many friends and family members to its bright lights. He eventually moved there with Vee and son Jake. They lived there for almost 4 years.

Joe served proudly in the US Army during the Vietnam Era 1966-68, stationed in Germany, as a Military Policeman. He traveled extensively and fell in love with Germany and Austria. Joe operated the gym on Base and played on traveling Basketball, Softball and Football teams. Later in life Joe returned many times to Germany and Austria. “The Sound Of Music” became one of his favorite movies. It’s music, he said, “Makes me feel Happy”. After his Honorable Discharge from the Army, Joe returned to the States and graduated from Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas. He went on to coach and teach Physical Education, Health, Driver Education and English in District 300 (Dundee/Carpentersville, IL). He served as Athletic Director at the Junior High and coached at the High School and Middle School level. He earned his Master’s Degree in Education Administration with a Supervisory Endorsement from Northern Illinois University. Joe met Vee in 1973 while teaching at Perry Middle School.

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Joe earned his Real Estate license to supplement his teaching job. He sold Real Estate in Northern Illinois and eventually resigned from teaching to join his sister Linda in condominium sales in Chicago on the Lakefront.

Eventually the entrepreneur in Joe led him back to Mattoon where in 1980 he opened and operated “Broadway Joe’s Sports Pub” at 1412 Broadway. He would follow this venture with 11 more establishments , including Club Illini, The Last Resort liquor store, Joe’s Windy City Sports Bar (Las Vegas), Bonkers Pub & Grub (back to Mattoon!), Kokomo Joe’s, Champs, Spanky’s, Joe’s Sports Bar & Grille, Rookies, Jackpot Joe’s and Lucky Jacks 3. Joe returned often to Las Vegas where he participated in many Blackjack, Craps and Video Poker Tournaments….winning and placing in several.

Joe and Vee were married in 1982 and worked together at the business(es). Jacob was born in 1985 and nothing gave Joe more pleasure than attending Jacob’s athletic events. In later years as Joe contemplated retirement, Jake joined his parents in the operation of the business at Rookies. Joe was happy and proud when Jake and Cristen married and gave him two precious grandchildren. In Joe’s own words, “Having Scarlett and Jack have inspired me to fight the cancer even harder.” Joe lost this battle, but put up the fight of a lifetime.

Joe was a natural leader and was blessed with an unassuming charm, wit and grace. He loved playing and watching sports, particularly his Cubbies and Bears. He was a tough, innovative businessman with a kind heart. He loved his family and his business associates and customers. He always wanted to give people what they wanted and treat them the way he would like to be treated.

He was so loved and will be so missed.

The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Winograd and Lynn, The SBL Regional Cancer Center Staff (especially Dr. Shakir), Lincolnland Hospice and their visiting nurses.

Memorials in Joel’s honor may be made to The SBL Regional Cancer Center, Lincolnland Hospice or Charity of Donor’s choice. Online condolences may be expressed at www.schillingfuneralhome.net or Schilling Funeral Home’s Facebook page.

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