John W. “Jack” Hanlon, 87, passed away at 3:07 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 2009, at
Cottage Hospital in Galesburg, Ill.
He was born on June 15, 1921, in Galesburg, Ill., the son of Harry E. and
Harriet F. Hanlon, both of whom preceded him in death.
On Sept. 10, 1949 he married Betty Rae Rath who preceded him in death Nov.
He is survived by four children, John (Ruth Anne) Hanlon of Galesburg,
Martha (Steve) Kearney of Chesterton, Mary (Rick) Barber of Galesburg and
Tom (Janet) Hanlon of Champaign, Ill.
He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Sean (Karla) Hanlon of Denver,
Colo.; Michael Hanlon of Galesburg; Patrick (Katie) Hanlon of Washington,
Ill., Emily, Kevin, John, and Andrew Kearney of Chesterton, Katie Barber of
Chicago, Ill., David Barber of Galesburg, Ill., and Tessa and Trevor Hanlon
of Champaign, Ill., and four great-grandchildren, Emma Hanlon, Jacob Hanlon,
Jack Hanlon and Shay Kelliehan.
He was also preceded in death by his brother Bill.
Jack graduated from Galesburg High School in 1939. He graduated in January,
1943 from the University of Illinois, and immediately enlisted in the U.S.
Army. He served in the Army Signals Intelligence Service from 1943 to 1946,
being stationed in the Philippines, Australia, and Japan. Upon his return to
the states, he entered the University of Michigan Law School, graduating in
1949. He returned to Galesburg that year, where he began his longtime law
practice with his partner, Dale Ruedig. He served as Galesburg’s City
Attorney from 1957 to his retirement in 1983.
His greatest love was his family. He enjoyed family vacations in Pentwater,
Mich., where he vacationed annually from 1964 through the mid-90s. He also
loved the outdoors, and considered a career in the U.S. Forest Service. He
enjoyed hiking, hunting squirrels, and target shooting. He “did law” for a
living but said if he had it to do over again, he’d be a farmer. He spent
many an hour working at the farm he owned in Oneida, Ill., both before and
Jack was a voracious reader. He loved all types of literature and could
quote long passages from poems and books. He loved everything from detective
books to Irish literature to plays to western novels to the classics. He
also loved music - primarily country and classical. He had more than his
share of wisdom and good Irish humor. But most of all, he was a man who
loved his family, and who was loved in return.
Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Thursday, June 4 at Watson Funeral Home.
Interment will be at Oak Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 - 8 p.m.
Wednesday at Watson Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the Knox County
Council for the Developmentally Disabled (KCCDD)