KEWANEE — Gerard J. “Jerry” Rux, 80, of Kewanee passed away at 8:50 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at Select Specialty Hospital in Davenport, Iowa.
Gerard was born May 16, 1933, in Chicago, the son of John P. and Ethel M. (Haag) Rux. He married Lucretia G. Malicki July 2, 1960, in Chicago. She survives.
Also surviving are eight children, Daniel (Rhonda) Rux of Galva, Carrie (Jack)Schlindwein of Geneseo, Andrew Rux of Hartford, Wis., John (Angie) Rux of Chicago, Michael Rux of Galesburg, Amy Rux of Aurora, Suzanne (Jim)Burkhart of Kewanee and Katie (Mat) Orwig of Atkinson; 19 grandchildren, Nathan (Karen), Adam, Abbey, Zachary, Lexy, Jacob, Tauge, Maggie, Megan, Caleb, Gerard, Greta, Charlie, Sam, Henry, Eleanor, Colin, Charlotte and Evan; one great-grandchild due in May; and a sister, Roberta “Bobbie” (Tom) St. Leger of Chicago.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Marilynn Johnson.
Jerry was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran serving during the Korean Conflict. He attended Loyola University in Chicago and in 1955 graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. After his graduation, he was employed in the funeral industry in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. In 1973, Jerry and his family moved to Kewanee to purchase the former Creamer Funeral Home and operated the Rux Funeral Home as a family business now with his son, Dan, and grandson, Zachary.
Jerry served on many boards and committees over the past 40 years. Some of these include: the Kewanee YMCA Board, where he was also involved with fundraising for the YMCA. He was a member of the Kewanee Rotary since 1975 and served as president in 1992-93. Kewanee Rotary honored Jerry in 1996 as a Paul Harris Fellow. He served on the Visitation Education Commission as president for nine years and was involved in planning and development of a new school while on the Education Commission. He served as chairman of the Kewanee United Way Drive in 1998 and was co-chairman in 1999. He served on the Abilities Plus Board and helped raise funds for their new facility. He was a founding member of Patriot Renewable Fuels in Annawan. He was a founding member and participant of the Red-Witch Sailing Club that did the Hoggatta Reggatta events during Hog Days.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Parish at Visitation Catholic Church in Kewanee where he had served as a lector for 20 years. Jerry was known for passing out St. Gerard medals to expectant mothers or mothers trying to conceive. He was always proud to point out his “St. Gerard” babies, for he had a strong faith in his church.
He was a life-long Chicago Cubs fan and he enjoyed being the spirit of Christmas. His greatest pleasure was following the many different activities of his grandchildren and was looking forward to becoming a great-grandfather. His presence in the lives of his family, his friends and the members of the community will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Saturday, Feb. 15, at Visitation Catholic Church in Kewanee. The celebrant was Father Johndamaseni Zilimu. Burial was in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Kewanee, with military rites accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council.
A rosary was recited and visitation held Friday, Feb. 14, at the Rux Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Visitation Catholic School, Abilities Plus or St. Mary’s Parish.
This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at www.ruxfuneralhome.com.