David Lee Svendsen

May 27, 1939November 9, 2021
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PEKIN ~ David Lee Svendsen, 82, of Pekin, passed away at 9:55 a.m. Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at his home.

Born May 27, 1939 in Pekin to Knud and Kathryn (Cash) Svendsen, he married Donna J. Reed on June 30, 1977 in Geneva. She survives.

Also surviving are three sons, Stephen (Cathy) Svendsen of Manito, Darrin Svendsen of Pekin and Mark (Holly) Svendsen of Mapleton; three daughters, Lisa Fowler of Houston, Texas, Danielle (Alberto) Lugo of St. Louis, Missouri and Angela (Roy) Davis of Pekin; eight grandchildren, Stephanie Pasqualino of Pekin, Shane (Nicole Tatro) Svendsen of Pekin, Courtny Svendsen of Chicago, Kayla Svendsen of Mapleton, Kendall Fowler of Houston, Jacqueline (Ben Serangeli) Lugo of St. Peters, Missouri, Natalie Lugo of St. Louis and Jordan (Tom) Davis-Finnegan of Asheville, North Carolina; three great-grandchildren, Rose Pasqualino, Sawyer Svendsen and Edward Finnegan; two brothers, Tom (Sharon) Svendsen of Pekin and Mike (Barb) Svendsen; two sisters, Sonja (Guy) Stanford of Vancouver, British Columbia and Margie Baxter of Bend, Oregon and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves Sasha, his canine companion.

He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Bob Svendsen, Dan Svendsen, Byron Svendsen, Terry Svendsen and John “Jack” Svendsen and one sister, Yvonne Pollman Keyster.

A 1957 graduate of Pekin Community High School, David attended Western Illinois University. He was a longtime farmer, carpenter and commercial developer in the area. As a successful entrepreneur, he also had owned and operated The Tannery and Pekin Video Library.

He and Donna enjoyed wintering in their Florida home, travelling throughout the world, especially to visit family in Denmark. They also traveled stateside in his motorhome. He enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson with friends, boating on Lake Michigan and trap shooting. He had a wicked sense of humor, especially with brother Terry, at the many “roasts” of siblings and in-laws at their significant birthdays. He loved his family and friends and was always concerned for their well-being. He was a diehard fan of both boxing and the Chicago Bears. He also was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. He loved his time spent at the family farm.

He was a member of Knights of Columbus Archbishop Schlarman Council 3507 in Pekin, Pekin Moose Family Center 916 and Pekin Eagles Aerie 1869.

Raised a devout Catholic, David had a deep personal faith that was very important to him.

His funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at First United Methodist Church in Pekin. Pastor James C. McClarey will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin, and also from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at the church. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Pekin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 1315 Court Street, Pekin, IL 61554 or a charity of the donor’s choice.

To express condolences online, visit


  • Tom Svendsen
  • Mike Svendsen
  • Mark Svendsen
  • Shane Svendsen
  • Darrin Svendsen
  • Stephen Svendsen
  • Stan Reed , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Steve Reed, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Roy Davis , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Alberto Lugo , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Robert Cash, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Richard Scotti , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Richard Weghorst , Honorary Pallbearer
  • Thomas Finnegan, Honorary Pallbearer



  • Visitation

    Monday, November 15, 2021

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, November 16, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, November 16, 2021


  • Burial


David Lee Svendsen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mark & Casey Gambetti

November 19, 2021

Our deepest sympathies on Dave’s passing. Though I have haven’t seen him in awhile, I remember always enjoying talking to him at the Knights of Columbus. A truly good man that will be missed by all that knew him.

Arthur keyster

November 18, 2021

Words cannot express what all of you are going through. Our love thoughts and prayers are With all of you. Dave was a wonderful person and always treated me well. Fly high with the angels Dave.

Arthur keyster

November 18, 2021

Donna and all of the family... So sorry for your loss .Our love, thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Dave was a very special person and will be missed. Fly high with the are a very special guardian angels.

Pat Proehl

November 17, 2021

My deepest sympathy to all of you. I really appreciated Danielle's memory account for Howie. I remember Danielle babysitting while we were varnishing our cupboard doors. It seems that Howie and your dad had friends in common! Howie often talked about the Reed boys and the humorous times they had! I'm so glad that you loved having Howie as your teacher, Danielle. I'm sure that you will miss your dad, but I hope your memories will ease your sorrow. May God comfort you all with His Holy Spirit, and give you Pease.

Irene Liu

November 16, 2021

It was a delight to get to know Dave. Although I only met him a few times in person, it was so easy to love him and enjoy his company. We shared an interest in boxing and, of course, love for Dani!

Dani has shared many endearing stories about Dave throughout the years. May these cherished memories be a comfort to you, and may God’s loving presence sustain you.

This is my favorite photo with Dave. We were having a “fight” about boxing!

Mike and Chris Schaefer

November 15, 2021

Donna and family,
We send our sincere sympathy for the passing of David.
He came to my rescue years ago and changed a flat tire for me. He saved the day!

Take precious care, love Chris

Bill and Dene Heath

November 15, 2021

Our sincere sympathy is with you and your family in the loss of David. He was a true gentleman who made everyone feel welcome in his home. His friendliness and sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him. Rest In Peace, David. Bill and Dene of Salado, Tx

Mark Smith

November 14, 2021

David along with his family had a big influence on my young life. He along eith his brother Jack were my first bosses out on the farm. To many fun stories to mention. God bless you David. My prayers go out to the whole family.

Becky (Slabaugh) Morgan

November 13, 2021

Like favorite teachers we had as children, good bosses are never forgotten. Dave was one of the best. I’ve nothing but fond memories working for him at PVL.

My heart goes out to you Donna and the entire Svendsen family.

Michael Burress

November 12, 2021

Our deepest sympathy to each of you in a difficult time. I have had the pleasure of being lifelong friends to Steve, Darrin, and Mark. Dave & Donna were always so very gracious and kind has they hosted us kids for many get togethers over the years including swimming in the lake . Their boundless energy and enthusiasm for everyone else was nice.