HENNEPIN — Friends and coworkers on both sides of the Illinois River are mourning the death of Jack Grant of Hennepin, who died Tuesday following a lengthy battle with myelofibrosis, a disorder of the bone marrow.
Doug Bernabei, Peru Police chief, said he had known Grant for more than 20 years.
“First as my insurance agent,” Bernabei said. “But we quickly developed a close and personal relationship.”
Bernabei said he looked up to Grant as a mentor, confidant and friend, and the two men had lunch together two or three times a week.
“I had tremendous respect and admiration for him,” Bernabei said. “In his business, professional and personal lives, he was a very accomplished man.”
Grant served both on the Hennepin Village Board and as mayor of Hennepin. One of the many activities he was proudest of was the 25 years he spent shooting off the Hennepin Fourth of July fireworks.
Bernabei said he was responsible for the one time Grant missed the fireworks.
“He was attending my wedding,” Bernabei said.
Bernabei also said Grant was a faith-filled man.
“I’m sure he was welcomed home by his Lord,” he said.
Grant was a State Farm Insurance agent in Spring Valley from 1968 until his retirement on April 1 of this year. Henry Hackman, a State Farm Insurance agent in Peru, said he had known Grant for more than 30 years.
“Jack was a wonderful and inspirational person,” Hackman said. “He battled his illness for 10 years.”
Candyce Wolsfeld, former director of Project Success of Eastern Bureau County, worked with Grant on many National Night Out events held in Spring Valley.
“Jack was a very community-minded individual whose generosity allowed Project Success to provide baby seats and more during National Night Out for many years,” she said.
Grant also served as chairman of the board for North Central Bank. Bank President Dave Ward was a member of the board for about 25 years, and chairman since 1996.
“He provided great leadership on the board, and the bank has prospered during some tough economic times,” Ward said.
Ward said Grant served the bank extremely well.
“He was very proud of the bank and his joy was to see us thrive,” Ward said. “It’s been a good run, and he’s been a big contributor to that.”
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