JOHN FRANCIS WADE Kewanee, Ill. John Francis Wade, 78, of Kewanee, Ill., passed away April 25, 2021. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 30, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Iowa. Father David Wilkening will officiate. John was cremated under the care of Trimble Funeral Home. A private burial will follow the ceremony. John was born Aug. 2, 1942, in Williamsburg, Iowa, to Harley and Ila (Ford) Wade. He was the youngest of their two sons, the eldest being Ron. Harley passed in 1948 and the family moved to the family farmstead near Holbrook, Iowa. John was known for being a bit on the ornery side and with the guidance of his mother and brother, he graduated from Parnell High School in 1960. John married Betty (McKay) Wade on Nov. 21, 1981. They each brought a son and daughter into the marriage. Betty's children; Lauren and David Heying. John's children; Bert and Sherri Wade. The couple did not anticipate raising children together and eventually all but one of the kids came to live with them for short times. John and Betty lived a life full of surprises. Of John's favorite interests were cars and motorcycles. He often said to Betty, "They made me such a good deal, I just couldn't pass it up!" Probably his only loyalty to a vehicle was his 1959 Ford Fairlane Retractable, "Old Blue." John, Betty and Old Blue put many miles on the highway all over Iowa and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. John spent most of his life in the insurance business, first with Equitable of Iowa and later spending 22 years with State Farm. His love of people and lending a hand, made him a success in the industry, and many lifetime friends along the way. His career gave opportunities for John and Betty to travel both in the United States and overseas. John became a grandfather in 2006 with the birth of his first granddaughter, Sofie Scout Geistkemper. Her middle name "Scout" from the Lone Ranger show, was a nod to his love of Westerns. He was soon blessed again with his second granddaughter, Lexi Shae Geistkemper. He was extremely of proud of his two Grandgirls. John never met a dog he didn't like. His last canine companion, an attitude filled rescue Chihuahua, Missy didn't leave his side in his last years. John will be greatly missed by his wife, Betty; daughters, Sherri White and Lauren Potter; along with his granddaughters, Sofie and Lexi Geistkemper. Close family also affected by the loss are his brother Ron's wife, Patty, and their children, Rita, Brian (Carrie), Paula, Rhonda (Kevin) and Chad. Preceding him in death were his parents, Harley and Ila; brother, Ron; and sons, Bert Wade and David Heying. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to OSF Hospice. A special thank you is appreciated for his wonderful nurse, Josh. Josh made it his mission to give John the best of care possible. The family is forever grateful for the care he gave John. John lived a life governed mainly by his own rules, so to his dismay we must follow restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Masks will be required, and no dinner will be offered. A true celebration of life will be planned later this summer. In reflection of his own life, John commented that he probably should have done some things differently, but he probably wouldn't have any way!
Published in The Gazette on Apr. 27, 2021.