Paul Mario Tomazzoli, 78, of Hillsboro, died on Aug. 28, 2023, at home surrounded by his loving family.
Memorial services will be held privately, but friends are invited to join the family for a remembrance reception open house to be held at the Lions Club in Hillsboro on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 2 to 4 p.m. Bass Patton Dean Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Mr. Tomazzoli was born on March 23, 1945, in Springfield, the son of Mario “Tye” and Blanche (Lorion) Tomazzoli. From the age of ten, he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Zephyr and Mary (Charles) Lorion of Coalton. He was a graduate of Nokomis High School with the class of 1963.
On May 7, 1966, Mr. Tomazzoli married Barbara Eddington of Witt at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Witt. They had three children, Dawn, Paul Jr. and Sean, and recently celebrated 57 years of marriage.
Directly out of high school, Mr. Tomazzoli was employed by Allis Chalmers in Springfield. He then began a long career as a construction carpenter, who helped build several projects, including the Pawnee Power Plant, Hillsboro Area Hospital, the Coffeen Power Plant, the Litchfield overpass and the Clinton nuclear power plant. He was the superintendent of the construction of the Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro. After its completion, he was employed at Graham Correctional Center as a carpenter.
After his time at Graham Correctional Center, he worked at the State of Illinois Library, first with the construction and later as an engineer. He then returned back to the Graham Correctional Center as chief engineer, where he retired in 2002, after 28 years of employment with the State of Illinois.
Mr. Tomazzoli and his wife Barbara also owned and operated the American Lounge in Coalton from 1970 to 1977. The American Lounge was a popular night club that had live bands.
Mr. Tomazzoli devoted his entire life to sports, as a player, coach, official and spectator. At Nokomis High School, he played baseball, basketball and football. For many years, he played on local men’s softball leagues and coached his sons’ sports teams. Mr. Tomazzoli’s love of sports led him to become an official for 37 years with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), certified in baseball, softball, football and basketball. He had officiated three state high school football championships.
Mr. Tomazzoli was a member of the American Softball Association (ASA). He served on the ASA National staff, most recently holding the title of Umpire-In-Chief for Region 10. He served as the longest running State Umpire-In-Chief in the history of Illinois ASA, a position he held for 21 years. He was fortunate to umpire for the United States Women’s Olympic softball team. In 2004, Mr. Tomazzoli was inducted to the ISA Hall of Fame and received the ISA lifetime achievement award in 2022, for 52 years of service to Illinois softball.
Mr. Tomazzoli was also the chairman for the Montgomery County Republican Committee for many years. He helped organize the visit of President Ronald Reagan to Butler in 1980. He also served on the Illinois Lottery Board, a post he held for several years.
Mr. Tomazzoli enjoyed attending auctions where he collected arrowheads and other native American artifacts. He was an avid wood carver for many years, and enjoyed researching the history of Montgomery County and anything related to the Old West.
One of Mr. Tomazzoli’s favorite vacations was a trip to Italy with his wife, where they visited his father Mario’s birthplace near Verona, Italy.
Mr. Tomazzoli was a man of strong convictions. He believed in telling things like they were and not what someone wanted to hear. He was never one to back down from confrontation; he would meet it head on. If you became his friend, you were a friend for life. He was very proud of his Italian heritage and his small-town upbringing. But his greatest love belonged to his family. They had his heart.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, daughter Dawn Stewart of Buellton, CA, sons Paul “Zee” (Lisa) Tomazzoli of Cobden and Sean (Michelle) Tomazzoli of Germantown; grandchildren Sara (Eric) Hartzog, Matthew (Hannah) Tomazzoli, Haley Tomazzoli, Bradley Tomazzoli, Chase (fiancé Taylor) and Rece Schneider and Will, Jackson and Colton Stewart; great-grandchildren, Sawyer Zephyr Bohannon and Emma Sue Tomazzoli; brother Richard Tomazzoli; brothers-in-law Alan Eddington and Brad “Smoke” Eddington, sisters-in law Staci (Tom) Eakins and Jill (Robert) Wingler; half brothers and sisters Ron, Mike and Debbie Vandever; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, in-laws Carl and Margaret Eddington, sister Mary Tomazzoli, brother-in-law Gerry Eddington, granddaughter Taylor Cheyanne Tomazzoli, nephew Shane Tomazzoli and son-in-law David Stewart.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Taylor Tomazzoli Scholarship Fund at 413 N. Appleknocker Dr., Cobden, IL 62920.