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Tom Werner

TOM DAVID WERNER, 73 ROCKFORD - Tom David Werner, 73, of Rockford, died in the loving arms of his wife, Peggy, at 7:25 p.m. Sunday, April 21, 2013, in his home. He was born May 22, 1939 to Henry and Mary Ann Werner in Merrill, WI, and grew up on a small family farm in Gleason, WI before moving to the Rockford area 48 years ago. After graduation from Merrill High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received basic training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center in North Chicago, where he worked as a diesel mechanic before getting certified as a heating and air conditioning repairman at San Diego Naval Training Center in San Diego, California. His tours of duty included Guam, Japan and the Philippines. In 2000, he retired from Woodward Governor Company in Loves Park, IL, after working there for more than 33 years. He started out as a test technician and later became a motor specialist. In retirement, he repaired exercise equipment at the YMCA, 200 Y Blvd, and most recently worked part-time at Zanocco Ace Hardware at Edgebrook Center for 11 years. He married Margaret "Peggy" (Sagona) Howe of Rockford on June 2, 1990, at Riverside Community Church in Machesney Park. He was a member of Heartland Community Church. Survivors include his wife, Peggy; his sons, Jonathan Daniel Werner of Rockton, IL and Robert Craig (Samantha) Werner of Kansas City, MO; daughter, Patricia Ann (Howe) (Dan) Henkelmann of Janesville, WI; grandchildren include Ian Luke Werner and Jake Austin Werner of Rockton, IL, Caden Miller Werner and Will Michael Werner of Kansas City, MO; niece, Linda (Tom) Wix and nephew, Jeff Kolberg of Wausaw, WI; nephews, Trevor, Tyler; great- nephew, Dakota; and his Siamese cat, Riggs. Predeceased by his father, Henry, in 2001; his mother, Mary Ann in 2011; sister, Gale Kolberg of Wausau, WI in 2007; and three month old grandson, Mason Matthew Werner of Kansas City, MO in 2010. Highlights of Tom's life included coming from a loving Christian home and the adventures that came with growing up in the beautiful state of Wisconsin; his travels, training and service to his country in the U.S. Navy; his career and friendships at Woodward Governor Company; meeting people and problem-solving for customers at Ace Hardware; his role as father and grandfather, and his marriage to Peggy. Tom was best known for his second-to-none work ethic, love of learning, sense of adventure, deep Christian faith, quick wit and great sense of humor, and his love of the outdoors and animals, particularly Siamese cats and big cats. He was a member of the Valley of the Kings Sanctuary and Retreat in Sharon, WI, which is dedicated to the rescue and refuge of abused, abandoned, retired and injured exotic animals, and is home to about 50 big cats. A special "Thank You" to all the people who contributed to Tom's life in a positive way and especially to those who offered their healing presence in time of sickness. Those people include our friends and staff at Heartland Community Church, particularly Pastor Matt Kitchen and Pastor Jan and Brian Selander of the Pastoral Care Team, who prayed with us after weekly worship and made home visits; John and Dean Zanocco of Zanocco Ace Hardware for their kindness and understanding; the care team of Heartland Hospice for all their support, dependability and professionalism, especially Nurses Amy, Lindsey, Lori, and Jody and Nursing Assistant Mallory; Nurse Practitioner Laura Jill Wifrs of the Rockford Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Rockford for her professional insight and personal friendship; the staff at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center Emergency Room; the staff at Rockford Memorial Hospital Cancer Center; Oncologist Dr. Ajaz Khan for his attention to body, mind and spirit; to the healing presence of Nurse Maggie and Dr. Shaffer at Rockford Memorial Hospital Emergency Room; and to all our friends, especially our wonderful neighbors, Chris and Jodi Erickson, Tom and Lynn Splinter, Brian and Jan Selander, Wayne and Colette Oliver, Peter and Carol Paris, Sam and Mary Maggio, Tom and Nancy Edwards, and Adam and Lindsey Finney who prayed, cared, removed snow, called, visited, ran errands, brought meals and gave of themselves in so many ways-we are forever grateful. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27, at Heartland Community Church, 1280 South Alpine Road in Rockford, with visitation from 9 a.m. until time of service. Pastor Matt Kitchen will officiate. Private burial in the veteran's section of Floral Lawn Cemetery, 835 Dear- born Ave., in South Beloit, IL at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be given to Heartland Community Church. Arrangements were completed by Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.

Published in Rockford Register Star from Apr. 25 to Apr. 27, 2013
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