MORTON - Howard G. "Hod" Getz, 79, of Morton passed away and went to be with his Lord at 5:16 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, at his home.
Howard was born Oct. 25, 1933, in Peoria to George J. and Levina O. (Stoller) Getz. He married Louise Ellen Roecker on June 30, 1957, in Morton.
Surviving are his loving wife, Louise Getz of Morton; four children, Jay (Dawn) Getz of Colorado Springs, Colo., Brenda (Tom) Florestano of Duluth, Minn., Sara (Steve) Ring of White Bear Lake, Minn., and Neal (Betsy) Getz of Jenison, Mich.; 15 grandchildren, Jonathan, Jeremy and April Getz, Matthew, Andrew, Joseph and Thomas Florestano, Katie, Ellen and Sadie Ring and Noah, Levi, Micah, Joanna and Isaiah Getz; one sister, Mildred Zimmerman of Morton; and one brother, Marvin (Lois) Getz of Morton.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Edith Getz; and his brother-in-law, Joe Zimmerman.
Howard served with the United States Army from July 28, 1955, to May 15, 1957.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, he worked first at Morton Elevator Co. He then taught English at East Peoria Community High School and Morton High School. After receiving his doctorate at Indiana University, he taught at Illinois State University for four years and then started working at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Serving in various positions, his last nine years (1979 to 1988) he was the associate dean/director for Academic Affairs.
He became involved in missions after his first trip to Haiti in 1981. After retiring, he became the first president of World Team Associates in 1989. He then began working with World Team, supervising teams in Russia from 1992 to 2000, primarily in Petrozavodsk and Ufa, Russia. He helped start Berean Prison Ministries' work in the prisons of Karelia, Russia.
He served four terms on the Morton District 709 School Board and was also elected twice to the Tazewell County Regional School Board, serving from 1989 to 1995. He served four years on the Morton Community Bank Board. He was a member and past president of the Morton Rotary Club, from 1978 to the present. In 1992, he was the team leader from District 6460 for a group of four young men on a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Calcutta, India.
Howard enjoyed Bible study and attended Community Bible Study in Peoria and Washington for 15 years, serving as a core leader for four years. He also attended the local Christian Business Men's Committee for many years. He served two terms on the board of Apostolic Christian Restmor. He was a member of the Morton Apostolic Christian Church, where he taught Sunday school and served in a variety of other ways. For two years he also served as the administrator of Apostolic Christian Counseling and Family Services and lately was involved with the Morton branch of the Midwest Food Bank.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, at Morton Apostolic Christian Church, with church ministers officiating. Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton, and from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will be at the Morton Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Apostolic Christian Restmor, 1500 Parkside Ave., Morton, IL 61550; Midwest Food Bank, 700 Erie Ave., Morton, IL 61550; or to Apostolic Christian Counseling and Family Services, 515 E. Highland St., Morton, IL 61550.
To view Howard's video tribute or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com.