Ben Pennisi, a long-time resident of Lombard, Illinois, passed away on May 6, 2022. Ben was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 8, 1956 to Benjamin and Audra Pennisi. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Chicago and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business, an MBA in Finance, as well as an MAI designation. Ben will be remembered and missed for his quick wit and sense of humor. He never forgot a joke and would save each joke for the proper time to get the best effect.
Ben began a lifetime of performing as a musician when he began to play guitar at the age of 8. There was never a time after that when he either wasn’t in a band, or looking to join one! Some of the many bands he played a variety of instruments and sang in were: The Other Souls, Whetstone, Stryder, The Works, Taxi, and Radio Player. Ben played for over 20 years in an Italian wedding band, Sabana. Also, he gained a bit of fame as “Ben-Wa, the Dancing Egg,” playing guitar and singing harmony with radio DJ Jonathon Brandmeier and the Leisure Suits. Ben considered his crowning musical achievement to be the last band he formed with his three sons, Thicker Than Water. He knew his greatest joy playing music with his boys for over 15 years.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Angela; children, Benjamin J., Robert (Barbara Ann), and Samuel; precious grandchildren Luke, Henry, and Isabella; mother, Audra; sisters Linda (Tullio) Ruscitti and Bennetta (Patrick) Kelly; sisters-in-law Irene (Robert-deceased) Miroballi and Kristina (Kenneth) Knight; and, numerous nieces, nephews, and friends, many of whom he knew since his childhood on the south side of Chicago. He was preceded in death by his father, Benjamin.
In lieu of flowers or gifts to the family, please conduct a random act of kindness in Ben’s name or contribute to the World Central Kitchen at wck.org.
A celebration of Ben’s life will be planned for a later time. Family members will contact friends and acquaintances with the information.