The Dan Fogelberg Memorial
Riverfront Park - Peoria, IL
The Dan Fogelberg Memorial sits peacefully along the Illinois River in Dan's home town of Peoria, IL. The Memorial is located in Riverfront Park, not far from Constitution Gardens, where Morton Street meets the river. Directions to the Memorial are available above.
Not long after Dan's passing in late 2007, a Peoria-based tribute concert was organized by a group of local musicians, and the city of Peoria named a portion of Abington Street as Honorary Fogelberg Parkway in appreciation for the entire Fogelberg family and their many contributions to the Peoria community.
Around this same time, Peoria area Fogelberg fan, Dianne Turner, had the idea of creating a permanent memorial to Dan similar to the John Denver Sanctuary she had visited in Aspen, Colorado. She enlisted the help of friend and fellow Fogelberg fan, Hugh Higgins, and made a presentation to the Peoria City Council. The project received unanimous approval from the City Council, and ground in Riverfront Park was donated by the City of Peoria with the stipulation that the funds needed for the construction of the Memorial Garden be raised through private funding. A Memorial Committee was formed to oversee the funding, design and construction of the Memorial. Members of the committee were Hugh Higgins, Dianne Turner, Eric Mills and Deborah Jelinek. The project was funded through donations from Dan's friends, colleagues and fans, and officially dedicated on August 28th, 2010. The event was attended by Dan's family members, as well as friends and fans from 38 states and several foreign countries. The unveiling was performed by Dan's wife, Jean; his mother, Margaret Fogelberg; his brother, Marc Fogelberg; his sister-in-law, Carla Fogelberg; Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis; Hugh Higgins and Deborah Jelinek.
The stones are engraved with the lyrics to three of Dan's songs - "Part Of The Plan", "Icarus Ascending", and "River of Souls". Careful consideration was given when choosing the lyrics from Dan's many songs, and fans were allowed to contribute suggestions and vote on their favorites through the same avenues that were available during fund raising. The response from the fans was so overwhelming that the fundraising goal was surpassed, allowing for the addition of three stones that mark the trail leading into Riverfront Park from the west that contain the lyrics to "Ever On".
A bench was gifted to the Memorial in 2011 by a group of "DanFans" containing a plaque with Dan's photo and an inspirational quote. The Dan Fogelberg Memorial was honored annually from 2011-2015 through the Foundation's Celebration Weekend where a blessing was given and Dan's songs were performed prior to an afternoon picnic adjacent to the Memorial site, and an evening tribute concert at a local venue. Fogelberg Foundation of Peoria oversees the Memorial's annual maintenance and welcomes fans to visit any time of year, and has had visitors from around the country and around the world.
Deborah Jelinek was first introduced to the music of Dan Fogelberg during her college days by future husband, Jon Jelinek. She quickly became a devoted fan and eventually went on to design one of the first websites dedicated exclusively to Dan, TheLivingLegacy.net. Dan and Jean Fogelberg were so impressed with Deb's design and her high regard for keeping her site factual and dignified, that it became Dan's first officially endorsed website, a predecessor to DanFogelberg.com. Deb was an integral part of the process that lead to the construction and dedication of the Dan Fogelberg Memorial, and was a co-founder of Fogelberg Foundation of Peoria. She served for many years as the Foundation's President and was the driving force that took the Foundation's Celebration Weekend to many locations around the country.
Sadly, in early 2019, Deborah passed away after a short illness. Because of all that she did over the years to honor and celebrate the legacy of Dan Fogelberg, two rose bushes were added to the Dan Fogelberg Memorial landscaping in her honor. Infinite love and gratitude, always, to Deborah Jelinek. Ever on...