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KEWANEE – John A. Jagers, 79, of Kewanee, went into the Lords hands on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 4 at the First Christian Church in Kewanee where military rites will be accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council. Pastor John Reside will officiate. The visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 3 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. Cremation will be accorded following the services and inurnment will be held at Wethersfield Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be made in his name for a memorial to be established.
John was born March 31, 1944 in Kewanee, the son of Albert E. and Delia (Rohrig) Jagers. John married Judy I. Hampton on November 6, 1965 in Kewanee which was the start of a love affair lasting 58-years. John is survived by his wife, Judy, his son, Jon Jagers of Kewanee, his daughter, Jennifer (Shawn) Oetzel of Kewanee, five grandchildren; Joshua (Allison) Jagers, Hannah Jagers, Connor (Moriah) Oetzel, Alysh Oetzel and her significant other Adam and Sheadon Oetzel, three great grandchildren; Trace Jagers along with Archer and Emerson Oetzel with another great grandchild on the way. John is also survived by his two sisters, Nancy Miller and Judy Wager, both of Kewanee as well as three brothers-in-law: Bill (Kay) Hampton of Farmington, Glen Hampton of Arizona and James (Deb) Hampton of Edwardsville. Lastly, but certainly not least, John is survived by his dedicated and spunky pet pooch, Oscar.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Delia and two brothers-in-law, Ray Miller and Dwaine Wager.
“Big John” as he was affectionately known by many of his family and friends was a lifelong resident of Kewanee. He graduated from Kewanee High School in 1962 and proudly served his Country as a member of the Army National Guard where he was called into active duty during the Chicago Riots. John was a fireman for the City of Kewanee. Known as a real “fireman’s fireman” he helped protect his community for 30-years where he earned the rank of Captain before retiring. John also was a past member of the Kewanee School Board and was a former Henry County Deputy Coroner. Always a man of many projects, John began painting for Spets Bros. before establishing and operating Jagers Painting & Wallpapering while also doing painting jobs with his friend, Pete Reiff.
John was a man of Faith and was a member of the First Christian Church where he was a past Deacon. John adored his church and church family. John was also a mainstay over the years at various restaurants and meeting places as a member of his beloved coffee group.
John was an avid sports’ fan and as such enjoyed playing golf and coaching farm league baseball for many years. John could also regularly be found sitting in the bleachers cheering on the Kewanee and Weathersfield high school football, basketball, soccer and volleyball teams for which many of his grandchildren played. He was a passionate supporter of his beloved Illini, Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears. John celebrated every win and took every loss personally. It should be noted one of John’s final wishes was for the Bears to find a new head coach. Hearing John’s favorite exclamation, “Jeepers Creepers!” which he would yell in frustration when things would go awry for one of his teams will be deeply missed yet fondly remembered by those who loved him.
Most of all John cherished his family. He was the biggest fan of his grandchildren. He along with wife, Judy, never missed a sporting event, band concert, play or any activity one of the grandchildren was participating in. They were such a common sight at events they were dubbed by friends of their grandchildren as the “Grand Jagers.”
John A. Jagers led a life of service - most notably to his family, his Faith and his Community. He was the epitome of a good man and a life well-lived. For evidence of this, one needs to look no further than how much he was adored by his five grandchildren. Rest well, Big John.