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Pepper Construction Group CEO J. David Pepper, 59, passes away

Pepper was a long-time leader of one of the largest Midwest general contractors who lived his life in service to others.

December 30, 2019 |
Pepper Construction Group CEO J. David Pepper, 59, passes away

David Pepper led Pepper Construction from 2003.


J. David (Dave) Pepper, 59, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at his home in Barrington, Illinois. He was born in Evanston on January 15, 1960 to Richard and Roxelyn Pepper. He was a civil engineering graduate of Iowa State University, where he met his wife, Katy. Dave served as CEO of Pepper Construction Group and lived his life in service to others and was widely known for his kindness and generosity.

Dave's life centered around his family and friends. He enjoyed cooking, boating and travelling and frequently said that being part of his family was the best leadership lesson of his life. He believed that values shape lives, particularly through unexpected turns, and Dave instilled honesty, gratitude and openness into the culture of Pepper Construction, which he led from 2003. 

Dave was known as a champion of education and held multiple leadership roles including president of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) Education and Research Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to improving the science of construction. Dave was also involved in workforce readiness and school mentoring programs. Most recently, Dave served on the Providence St. Mel School Board of Trustees; the Dominican University Board of Trustees; Junior Achievement of Chicago's Board of Directors and Executive Committee; and served as a  Management Trustee to the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and supported their educational programs over several decades. 

Dave also actively served the community as a member at St. Michael’s Episcopal church and was a member of the Economic Club of Chicago; The Chicago Club; the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and The Commercial Club of Chicago. Dave leaves behind his loving wife Katy and their three children, Ali, Lauren and Colin; as well as his parents, Richard and Roxelyn Pepper; brothers, Dick, Stan, Scot; and sisters, Lisa and Lynda; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial visitation will be held Friday, January 3, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church located at 647 Dundee Avenue in Barrington. The memorial service will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 4 at the church.  Additional parking will be available across the street at St. Matthew Lutheran Church located at 720 Dundee Avenue.  

In lieu of flowers, donations in Dave's memory can be made to Bishop Anderson House at https://www.bishopandersonhouse.org/donate/  and St. Michael's Youth Program at 847-381-2323 or info@stmichaelsbarrington.org.  For more information, or to sign the guestbook please visit https://www.davenportfamily.com/notices/JamesDave-Pepper.

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