Gerald Henry Hartwig was born in Peoria, Illinois, on December 9, 1934. Jerry was the youngest of two sons of Emma and Henry Hartwig. Jerry graduated from Peoria Manual High School and entered the United States Army. He served during the Korean War and was primarily stationed in Alaska. After his honorable discharge, he attended Bradley University under the GI bill, and graduated with a business degree.
During college, he met the love of his life, Judith Ann Birket. Jerry and Judy were married on July 8, 1961, in Peoria. He worked for the Social Security Administration, and the family moved throughout the Midwest as his career advanced. The family’s last move for his employment was to the Peoria area, where Jerry became the Peoria Regional District Manager for the Social Security Administration. After retiring, he worked seasonally at Fondulac Golf Course in the pro shop. He and Judy were “snowbirds” for several years before moving permanently to Fort Myers, Florida.
Jerry enjoyed bowling, and met his lifelong friends Joyce and Hank Gluth when they were teamed up in a couple’s bowling league. Jerry also enjoyed golf, and hit multiple hole-in-one’s among his achievements. Other hobbies included cooking, woodworking, upholstery, and bonsai. He also enjoyed playing cards and other games. Jerry loved the Chicago Bears, the St. Louis Cardinals, and Budweiser beer, not necessarily in that order. But mostly, Jerry loved his family, especially his grandson Jude.
Jerry passed on November 9, 2019 surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife, Judy; his daughter Johnna (Mark) Neary of Iowa City, Iowa; his daughter Jamie (Kevin) Hartwig-Walker of North Fort Myers, Florida; his grandson, Jude Walker; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Roland Hartwig.
Per Jerry’s wishes, he was cremated and there will be no services. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, any memorials be provided to Hope Hospice in Cape Coral, Florida.