CLINTON — Jerry Russell Tharp, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on August 19, 2019.
He was born to Russell and Stella (Hammon) Tharp on July 25, 1950, in Vandalia, Ill..
After graduating from high school in Clinton, and attending Bible college in Arkansas, Jerry returned to Clinton and married Elaine Spainhour on October 3, 1970. He entered the United States Army in January of 1971, beginning many years of stateside military service and a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.
Following active duty, he served many years in the Army Reserves and Texas National Guard. He later transitioned his military police and corrections training into employment with state correctional departments in Illinois and Colorado and also with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Jerry loved his family and enjoyed sharing the experience of travel and of living in several different states.
Jerry had a natural musical ability, especially for singing and playing guitar. He enjoyed public entertaining and loved playing music with family and friends. He always loved animals and there was always at least one family pet in the house.
Jerry received many awards and certificates of recognition for his work within military, state and federal agencies and had participated in various military organizations.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Jerry is survived by Elaine, his wife of 49 years, daughter Teresa Caskey (Scott), Branson, Missouri, daughter Sherry Tharp Recker (Derek), Denver, Colo., grandchildren Darien Cox, Kloe Caskey and Jack Caskey, sisters Deanna Meseke and Janet Tharp and several nieces and nephews.
A graveside service with military honors will be conducted on August 23, 2019 at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery, Ft. Gibson, Okla.