Jess Heern

Jess Heern

1926 - 2008

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Obituary of Jess Heern

STERLING - Jess Heern, 83, of Sterling, died Sunday, May 31, 2009, at his home.

Mr. Heern was born on February 26, 1926, in Carbondale, the son of Jess and Emma (Robinson) Heern. He married Marian Kline on October 31, 1949, in Arkansas. Mr. Heern attended Southern Illinois University. He served in the U.S. Army from March 1946 until September 1947, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Although he didn't return to college after his stint in the army, Jess was a believer in higher education, and he encouraged and assisted all five of his children with their education goals. Mr. Heern was a steelworker at the former Northwestern Steel & Wire Company for 35 years, prior to retiring in 1983. He served as President of the Como School Board for a number of years and was a Steward for the United Steelworkers Union. Jess had a passion for automobiles and motorcycles. He was frequently seen tooling around town on a Honda Goldwing, finally "retiring" from motorcycling at age 80.

Survivors include a daughter, Shelley (Vernon) Gottel, of Sterling; three sons, Robert (Patricia) Henson, of Rock Falls, Lance (Laurie) Heern, of Iowa City, IA, and Scott Heern, of Sterling; three grandchildren, Jeffrey (Shelley) Henson, Kevin (Janelle) Henson, and Oliver Nelson-Heern; and six great grandchildren, Jordan, Alyssa, MacKenzie, Noah, Zoe and Ava.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian and son, Todd Heern.

Graveside services will be held at 10:30 A.M., Thursday, June 4, 2009, at Oak Knoll Memorial Park with the Pastor Brent Cloyd, officiating, followed by burial. Visitation will be from 5-7 P.M., Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at Schilling Funeral Home.

Memorial has been established to Veteran's Assistance Commission (providing assistance to local veterans).

Condolences may be sent to

Interment Information
Oak Knoll Memorial Park
Sterling, Illinois, United States