Jess Harvey Gerard

Jess Harvey Gerard, age 86 of Glen Carbon, IL born July 22, 1931 in East St. Louis, IL passed away on September 10, 2017.

Jess was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, TX. He then worked at Shell Oil in Woodriver, IL for 12 years before going to SIUE in 1965 where he worked as a plant operating engineer until retirement in 1993.

He was best known for his love of woodworking, camping, nature, and traveling. He never stopped wanting to learn more about technology, and had a keen interest in photography and flying. Those who knew him best loved his kindness, gentle spirit, and humor. Throughout his illness he showed amazing strength and faith. He was most appreciative for the love, devotion, and full-time care of his wife, Virginia, in his final days.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean Laverne nee Woods Gerard; a son, Larry Gerard; parents, Russell and Opal nee Chastain Gerard; sister, Louise Ezzell; and two brothers: Lonnie and Ray Gerard.

Jess is survived by his wife, Virginia nee Thornton Gerard, of Glen Carbon, IL; a daughter, Brenda Rapp Gerard of Collinsville, IL; grandson, Russell (Sarah) Rapp of CA; great grandson, Kyle; two sisters: Peggy Keeney Dillon of Fairview Heights, IL and Bonnie Hagen of Collinsville, IL; a brother, Raymond Gerard of Collinsville, IL; step-daughters: Linda (Al) Pflasterer and Faye (Bob) Ross; five step-granddaughters; 12 step-great grandchildren; and three step-great-great grandchildren.

Visitation will be 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at Barry Wilson Funeral Home, Maryville, IL.

Funeral service will be at 11:30 a.m. following the visitation with Rev. David Gray officiating. Burial will be in St. John Cemetery, Collinsville, IL.

Memorials may be made to Sterling Baptist Church or American Cancer Society, and will be received at the funeral home.

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