NEW HOLLAND, IL - Jerry Jay Harnacke, of New Holland died on July 19, 2013 at St. Clara's Manor in Lincoln surrounded by family. He went to be with our Lord at 7:15 a.m. on his 55th birthday following an 8 year battle with cancer.
He was born in Lincoln, Ill., on July 19, 1958, the middle child of Harold and Wilma Harnacke of rural New Holland. He married June Ann Sheley on Oct. 6, 1979. She survives.
Other survivors include three sons: Jaron of Springfield, Justin and Jacob (Bridgette Hyde) of New Holland; his mother, Wilma Harnacke of Emden; three brothers: Kenny (Carla) and Quint (Linda) of New Holland and Alan (Linda) of Elkhorn, Wis.; a sister, Ladonna (Earl) Gass of Emden; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jim and Joan Sheley, Sr. of New Holland; four brothers-in-law: Jim (Susan) Sheley, Jr. of New Holland, Jerry (Janet) Sheley of Chatham, Jeff (Carol) Sheley of Littleton and Jay (Sheila) Sheley of Lincoln; a sister-in-law, Janelle (Jason) Buss of Middletown; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Harold Harnacke of New Holland.
Prior to his illness Jerry was a self-employed contractor. He had also worked for Blaum Construction, Harnacke Brothers Lumber and Grandy Lumber Company.
He was a 1976 graduate of New Holland-Middletown High School where he served as FFA President, played center on the basketball team, coronet in the band and set the county track record in men's 4 X 400.
Jerry was an active member of the New Holland United Methodist Church where he served as an usher, greeter and member of the Trustee Committee. He was a former member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in New Holland where he served as an elder. Jerry had also served as a trustee on the boards of the Village of New Holland, Sheridan Township and Richmond Grove Cemetery. He was a former Assistant Fire Chief of the New Holland Volunteer Fire Department.
Jerry's journey with cancer inspired everyone who knew him. Due to his intense determination, his exceptional medical care, and the tremendous power of prayer, he lived longer than anyone else being treated at the Siteman Cancer Center with his type of cancer. His case was used in the development of several new testing and treatment options whereby he continues to help countless other cancer patients survive with a good quality of life.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Sunday, July 21, 2013, at Fricke, Calvert, Schrader Funeral Home in Lincoln. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10:00 am on Monday officiated by Rev. Joseph Snider at New Holland United Methodist Church with burial immediately following in Richmond Grove Cemetery in New Holland.
Instead of flowers, memorials may be given to New Holland United Methodist Church, New Holland Volunteer Fire Department, Siteman Cancer Center, or St. Clara's Manor.