Jerold (Jerry) E. Hathaway, Jr. ,59, of Geneseo, IL, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, January 11, 2021, at home. Per his wishes, cremation rites were accorded. A private, immediate family-only service will be held. Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory – Geneseo Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to ask all that knew him to lift a glass in honor of Jerry and cheer a life well lived.
He was born April 28, 1961 in Moline, IL to Jerold E. Hathaway Sr. and Barbara J. (Hathaway) Stromquist. He was a 1979 graduate of Moline Sr. High School. He had a very strong work ethic and started his own lawn mowing business during his adolescence. He also worked for Ray Anderson TV & Repair in Moline during high school. On June 6, 1979 he began a lifelong career of 42 years with IBM. There, Jerry wore many hats, most recently as a Lead Service Representative. He greatly valued the relationships that he held with his customers and colleagues alike and was highly regarded as a master of his field. On September 13th, 1987, Jerry married the love of his life, Kathleen M. Eller, at First United Methodist Church (now Riverside) in Moline, after 8 years together. Their love for each other was apparent to all that knew them from the very beginning and was unwavering through their 33 years of marriage. Together they have two daughters, Kimberly and Kelly, who were Jerry’s pride and joy. Family meant everything to Jerry and he would show off photos of the girls and talk about their recent accomplishments to absolutely anyone that would listen. Two months before his death he became a Papa to a little girl, Hailey, who very quickly became the light of his life. Jerry was a man of faith and was a proud member of Grace United Methodist Church in Geneseo, IL, where he ran the sound system for over two decades. He was a mentor to many and was always willing to lend an ear or offer a word of advice. He had a deep appreciation of God’s handiwork in nature and was especially fond of the sights he was able to take in when he and daughter Kimberly visited Scotland and England in 2018. He was a jack of all trades, a very quick learner and was fascinated with how things worked. He held many hobbies over the years and was especially enthusiastic about woodworking, farming and gardening, beekeeping, beer and wine making, fishing, and cooking. He loved to make and smoke his own meats and was especially proud of the smoker he built with valve automation which allowed him to slow smoke overnight and control the temperature from the comfort of his bed! He was an avid Cubs fan and loved attending Geneseo High School Football games, where he regularly volunteered on the grill. He was a member of GPAC for several years and had a love-hate relationship with making funnel cakes at various events. His very favorite past time was conversing over a beer with absolutely anyone that he met, but especially with his good friends Tim, Gary, and Arnie.
Survivors include his wife Kathy (Eller) Hathaway, daughters Kimberly (Hathaway) Jackson and Kelly Hathaway, son-in-law Kyle Jackson, granddaughter Hailey Jackson, sister and brother-in law Carol and David Holladay, brother and sister-in-law Mark and Jill Hathaway, stepmother Louise Hathaway, stepbrother Bob Westerman, nephew Tim Stapp, niece Sarah Stapp and great-niece Clara Schneider.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, Barbara Stromquist and Jerry Hathaway Sr., his stepfather Bob Stromquist and stepbrother Steve Westerman.
The family would like to thank all the first responders that tried to revive him.
831, Jerry/Dad/Papa. We love you. Until we meet again.
Posted online on January 14, 2021