Pete DiCaro played trombone with the Rockford Wind Ensemble, helped found the Hononegah Lions Soccer Club


Pete DeCaro (1945-2022)

Peter Louis “Pete” DiCaro studied music and English at DePaul University in Chicago, the first in his family to attend college. He played the bass trombone in the Rockford Wind Ensemble for twenty years. While he never played soccer as a child, Pete fell in love with the game when his children were young, going on to play, coach, and referee in matches all over Northern Illinois. He helped to found the Hononegah Lions Soccer Club, which became the Hononegah Youth Soccer Association/Bruce Samlan Soccer League.

Pete passed away on December 2, 2022, at his home in Roscoe, IL, after a battle with leukemia. He was 77.

Born in Chicago in 1945 to Peter and Anna DiCaro, Pete graduated from high school at St. Mel’s. After college, he enlisted as an officer in the United States Navy during Vietnam, earning his wings as a naval aviator. Pete worked as a contract administrator for Fairbanks Morse for more than 30 years. He married his wife, Karen, in 1971, and together they had four children, all of whom will forever believe he hung the moon.

While Pete’s job at Fairbanks Morse allowed him to travel the world and provide a comfortable living for his family, he passed up more than one opportunity to climb the corporate ladder in order to be present in the lives of his children, each of whom he coached in a variety of sports. When he wasn’t coaching, Pete was cheering on his children from the stands, picking them up from practice, or helping them improve their skills in the family backyard.

His leadership in the Hononegah Lions Soccer Club gave kids in the Roscoe area the chance to compete with bigger clubs from Rockford and Chicago, in addition to providing years of unforgettable memories for his children. Three of them played for the club at one point. As a coach, Pete was a wonderful leader, teacher, and ambassador for the game. As a referee, he took a perverse joy in calling penalties against his own children in high school matches. His passing during the 2022 World Cup was fitting, though he would have been highly irritated by the US’s inability to finish against the Netherlands. He would be cheering for Morocco.

The only thing that came close to Pete’s love for his family was his enduring love for music, specifically the bass trombone, which he played for more than 60 years. His children have fond memories of drifting off to sleep hearing Pete practicing in his basement music room. The Rockford Wind Ensemble brought him great joy and a sense of community, even during his fight with leukemia. His family was grateful that retirement allowed him the time to devote himself to the music that he loved.

Pete is survived by his wife, Karen; four children, Julie Anne, Peter Joseph, Sarah Jean, and William Anthony; six grandchildren, Aidan, Colin, Max, Lucy, Mia, and Noa; and countless friends and admirers.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2022, in Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory-Roscoe Chapel, 11342 Main Street, Roscoe, IL 61073, at 2 p.m. with visitation beginning at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Pete’s family asks for donations to the Rockford Wind Ensemble.

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