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Jerry Tharp

ALEDO - Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Allen Tharp, age 44, of Aledo, Ill., died Wednesday, July 12, 2006, as a result of enemy action when his dismounted patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device while operating in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

Jerry will be buried with full military honors. The funeral service is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at Bethel Baptist Church, 1196 N. Academy St. in Galesburg, Ill. Burial will be in Greenmound Cemetery in Keithsburg, Ill.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 21, 2006, at First Christian Church in Keithsburg. Dennison Funeral Home in Aledo is handling arrangements.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to the Jerry Tharp Memorial Fund.

Jerry was born Aug. 14, 1961, in Muscatine, Iowa, the son of Lyle H. and Donna L. (Matthews) Tharp. After being together for 16 years, he recently married Gayle (Christie) Pritchett on Dec. 31, 2005, at their home.

He was an operating engineer out of Local 150. He was working the last six years for Williams Brothers Construction in Peoria, up until his deployment to Iraq in January 2006.

Jerry had more than 18 years in the military. He enlisted in the Army in 1978. He then served in both the Army Reserves and Navy Reserves. His tour in Iraq was with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 25 out of Rock Island. Jerry was proud to serve his country and proud of his military career. He believed he had to do whatever he had to do to keep his family safe and out of harm's way. He was a hero to his entire family.

Jerry had many interests. He enjoyed going to the cabin, hunting, fishing, camping and scuba diving.

He is survived by his wife, Gayle Tharp of Aledo, Ill.; two stepdaughters, Carrie (and Joey) Ham of Keithsburg, Ill., and Heather Pritchett (and Jay Townsend) of Keithsburg, Ill.; four stepgrandchildren, Tristan Ham, Parker Townsend, Trace Ham and Paige Townsend; his mother, Donna Tharp of Aledo, Ill.; two sisters, Linda (and Dan) Artus of Reynolds, Ill., and Karen Louck (and Mike Grissom) of Aledo, Ill.; three brothers, Lyle "Ed" (and Julie) Tharp of Seaton, Ill., Rick (and Gillian) Tharp of Seaton, Ill., and John (and Cathy) Tharp of Green Cove Springs, Fla.; and several nieces and nephews.

Jerry was preceded in death by his father, Lyle Tharp in 1990, and his grandparents, Kenneth and Eva Tharp.

Online condolences, as well as information and directions, can be found at www.dennison funeralhome.com.

Published in Peoria Journal Star on July 19, 2006
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