Date of Birth
Date of Death
CONLEY FUNERAL HOME OBITUARY FAX FORM PHONE (630) 365-6414 FAX (630) 365-6434DATE OF PUBLICATION REQUESTED: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2009.MEDIA: KANE CO. CHRONICLE, DAILY HERALD, AURORA BEACON, ELBURN HERALDFAMILY APPROVAL SIGNATURE: _________________________________________NAME: John "Jack" G. Herra, age 74, of Elburn, passed away peacefully at his home, Monday, November 9, 2009. Weary from the long journey, Jack laid his burden down and traveled on to still blue waters where the fish are always biting.BORN:He was born July 31, 1935, in Ottawa, IL the first son of George and Mary (Kessel) Herra.EARLY YEARS: George moved his young family of four to Elburn when Jack, and his sister, Marie, were young children. George and Mary owned the Herra Grocery and Market, truly a family business where all the children were expected to do their share. Jack attended Elburn Grade School and graduated from Elburn High School, class of 1953.On April 29, 1954, his country called and Jack enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corp serving in Okinawa, Japan until his honorable discharge on April 28, 1956. When he returned home he used the skills he learned in the family market and worked as a butcher for A&P Food in St. Charles.MARRIAGE/ WORK: On June 13, 1959, Jack was united in marriage to Florence Altepeter. They began to build a life and family together and were blessed with four children: Steve, Phil, Mary and Patricia. Jack changed professions and worked for his father-in-law at H&L Altepeter, heating and plumbing. He worked hard, enjoyed his young family; it was a busy life. On February 10, 1973, their lives were forever changed with Florence’s sudden death. Now a young father with children to care for, Jack moved from day to day with his family and friends always there to help. In June of 1974, Jack and his brother, Richard, purchased the Altepeter business and a lifetime partnership began as J & R Herra, Plumbing and Heating. Life goes on, as does love and Jack found that opportunity when he met Janet Sue Allen. On November 23, 1974, they were married at the Kaneville United Methodist Church. A new business and a new family kept Jack’s life full. In time, Jack and Jan were blessed with two more sons, Alan and Brian.Jack poured his heart and soul into his business and as the years passed was blessed to have his sons follow in his footsteps and work side by side with him. J & R Herra is a name that has been known for service, workmanship and dependability from that time to the present. Built on a firm foundation, passed from generation to generation, its heritage will continue.LIFENOTES:Jack was a volunteer on the Elburn & Countryside Fire Department for 32 1/2 years. It was not just a matter of being a fireman, it was a brotherhood where men gave unselfishly to their community and stood behind each other in good times and bad. The Herra brothers, Jack, Richard, Larry and Leroy all served together through some of those years along with some of Jack’s sons and his nephew. After 32 1/2 years he retired with the rank of Captain; "Captain Jack" among his friends. "Gone fishin" may not have been a sign upon the door but it was a place where Jack loved to be; from boyhood through his last years. He looked forward to the annual fishing trip to Shelbyville, with Stafford Meek, Henry Swift, Marty Strausberger. In later years more friends joined the gang to Kentucky Lake and in 2002 a dream trip to Canada with his son, Phil. An outdoorsman, he loved to hunt especially for deer and pheasant in Lee and Bureau counties. Camping was a favorite family adventure going often with like-minded friends and family. When the family was grown, it was time for Jack and Jan to travel together, often with friends Marty and Elverna Strausberger. The miles were endless and the memories countless as they traveled the world from Australia to Alaska where Jack met Archie, an old Marine buddy. Jack loved to dance, if the music was playing, Jack’s feet were moving as he and Jan danced the night away. A man of many gifts, Jack gave to his community in service and dedication. He was devoted to Jan, supported his family in all of their athletic and academic endeavors; his six children and fifteen grandchildren always saw their dad/grandpa/papa there on the sidelines rooting them on and beaming with pride in all that they did. Jack Herra leaves a rich heritage, countless memories and footprints to show the youngest of his family the way to work and live.MEMBERSHIPS:He was a life member of the Elburn American Legion Post #630 as well as a retired member of the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District.SURVIVORS:He leaves his loving wife and caretaker, Jan; six children and fifteen grandchildren: Steve (Carol) Herra (Jordan, Megan & Shannon) of Elburn, Phil (Linda) Herra (John, Lindsay, Steve and Mary) of Belvidere, IL, Mary (Chris) Heineman (Dan and Jacob) of Sugar Grove, IL, Pattie (Randy) Pattermann (Will, Justin and Kylen), Alan (Dana) Herra (Charlene Walker, Tasha Capes and Jackson Herra), and Brian (Laura) Herra (16th grandchild due in 2010), all of Elburn; five siblings: Richard (Mary) Herra, D. Larry (Maxine) Herra, Leroy (Carol) Herra, Dean "Yogi" Herra, all of Elburn and Darlene (Terry) Terrill of Knox, TN; his brother-in-law, Jim Fraunberg of Maple Park, many nieces and nephews and a lifetime of good friends.
Visitation will be Sunday, November 15, 2009, from 3-7p.m., at Elburn Lions Park, 500 Filmore Dr., Elburn.
Private family burial will occur following cremation at a later date.