It is with a heavy heart that Excalibur Seasoning, Co. announces the passing of our beloved founder, Gerald “Jerry” Hall, on Saturday, June 9, 2018. He was 83 years old. We encourage you to read his obituary and remember him fondly.
In remembrance of Hall, Excalibur CEO Tom Hornstein announced that our offices will be closed on Thursday, June 14, for his funeral. Never one to disappoint his customers, it was mentioned that, “The only person who would be upset about that would be Jerry.”
“Jerry was our inspiration,” remembers Hornstein. “He had a vision for what Excalibur should be – a family-owned company folks could rely on for quality products. And he always put the customer first. He knew we would sink or swim based on customer satisfaction. A fellow military man, Jerry was an infamous stickler for hitting delivery deadlines. Timeliness was a true passion.”
After attending Eureka College, Hall got his start in the meat industry working for his dad at the family-owned Hall’s Market until 1967. For the next twenty years, Jerry branched out to selling seasonings for other companies, all while learning the ins and outs of the industry.
In 1986 Jerry launched Excalibur Seasoning, Co. in Pekin, IL. From that point forward, he guided the company with his principled approach to building both a business and strong personal relationships until ultimately passing the baton of leadership to Hornstein in 2010.
Hornstein shares, “After that first year, Excalibur was just shy of 10 employees and just north of 50 customers. Some 30 years later, here we are that same family-owned business, but now with 87 employees, more than 1,200 customers, two beautiful facilities and blueprints for future expansion. I’m proud to have called Jerry a friend, and it means a great deal to me to have kept building upon his dream. It’s not an exaggeration to say customers nationwide rely upon Excalibur for great products, great service and great people. Thank you, Jerry.”
Hall literally wrote the book on making great sausage – three editions of “Sausage Made Easy.” He was also heavily involved in the National Seasoning Manufacturers Association, previously serving as its president. Hall also received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Meat Processors.
Hall, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, was an active member of Rotary International and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He was a past Grand Marshall of the Marigold Festival Parade and a generous supporter of St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Hall is survived by his wife, Vinetta; three sons, Glenn (Mary) Hall of Salem, MO, and Vance Hall and Jay (Donna) Hall, both of Pekin; one daughter, Dianne (Mike) Shrier of Carlock, IL; eighteen grandchildren; and twenty-six great-grandchildren.
The funeral service will be at 10:00 am Thursday, June 14, at First Christian Church, 1201 Chestnut St., Pekin, IL, with the Rev. Hank Anderson officiating. A visitation will be held Wednesday, June 13, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, also at the church. Burial will be at Glendale Memorial Gardens, with military honors provided by the U.S. Army and the Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team.
It’s been said recently that, “Jerry never met a stranger. He was loved by many, and his funeral will be one for the ages.”