Harry Dean Breighner

Posted 1/4/21

Harry Dean Breighner

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Harry Dean Breighner


ROCHESTER, Ill. — Harry Dean Breighner, 89, of Rochester, formerly of Clinton, passed away at 8:17 p.m. on December 30, 2020, of natural causes at the Illinois Veterans Home, Quincy.

Graveside services with military honors will be held at a later date at Memorial Park Cemetery, Clinton. The family entrusted Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to The Wounded Warrior’s Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.

Harry was born on July 31, 1931, in Clinton, the son of Harry Daniel and Doris (Sprauge) Breighner. He married Leah Delle Newcome on December 27, 1952, at the Clinton Presbyterian Church. She passed away on September 21, 1998.

Survivors include his daughter, Kayla Jo Porter and her husband Michael E., Rochester, Ill., granddaughter, his pride and joy, Dr. Kalysa R. Porter, M.D., MPH, a pediatric anesthesiologist, and her husband Dustin Smith, Florence, Ky, two sisters, Diane Simmons and her husband Ralph and Carol Parker, along with four nieces and five nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Archie, and three nephews.

Harry worked and retired as a locomotive engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad. He also worked part-time as a licensed legal investigator, serving two terms as Director of the National Association of Legal Investigators.  Harry served in the U.S. Navy, as a radio operator, during the Korean War.

He was very patriotic and held lifetime memberships in numerous military associations.  Harry was a Master Mason for 57 years, serving as a member in the York Rite College – Commandery of the Knights Templar and the Ansar Shrine Legion of Honor. 

Harry had a myriad of interests; he was a member of the U.S. Martial Arts Association, attaining the level of 6th Degree Black Belt in both Judo and JuJitsu. He also was inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, receiving the Golden Life Award. 

Harry loved music and was an amazing dancer.  He was also a member of the Land of Lincoln Barber Shop Chorus.  Harry was a leatherwork craftsman, specializing in hand-tooled weight-lifting belts as well as Barbarian and Disney character wall hangings.

Online condolences may be made at www.calvertmemorial.com