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Johan "Jerry" Halliwell Kats

December 12, 1930 June 16, 2016
Johan "Jerry" Halliwell Kats
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Obituary for Johan "Jerry" Halliwell Kats

PEORIA – Johan Halliwell “Jerry” Kats, 85, of Peoria passed away at 11:24 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 2016, at the Illinois Veteran’s Home - LaSalle.

Jerry was born on Dec. 12, 1930, in Wabeno, Wisc., to the late Johan and Ruth Kats. He married Beverly Jeneson in Peoria on Aug. 24, 1952.

He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Sara (John) Roach of Bartonville and Judith (Robert) Miller of Park Ridge, Ill.; one son, Ward (Janice) Kats of Knoxville, Ill.; five grandchildren, Jennifer (Dennis) Farney, Brian Pearson, Douglas Pearson, Madeline Miller, and Lauren Miller; and three great-grandchildren, Michael, Breanna, and Dennis.

Jerry attended Woodruff High School and graduated from the University of Illinois School of Business Administration in 1953, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, Scull and Crescent Honorary Fraternity, and the U of Illinois Varsity Track Team. He was the first Peoria athlete to win an individual event at a Illinois Boys’ State Track and Field Meet where he won the 120-yard high hurdles in 1948. He was inducted into the first class of the Woodruff High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Jerry is a lifetime member of the University of Illinois President’s Council.

He remained active in track and field in Illinois. He became the first official to serve as the Head Starter of the Boys’ State Track and Field Meets, the Girls’ State Track Meets, and the Boys’ and Girls’ State Cross Country Meets. He was awarded an Illinois Track and Field Official of the Year recognition in 2009, and received the Illinois High School Association Distinguished Service Award.

Jerry served the United States Army as a First Lieutenant sports officer at Fort Hood, Texas. He was in charge of athletic teams and lead the champion 3rd Army football team to victory over the 5th Naval District at the Shrimp Bowl in Galveston.

He was active in the Boy Scouts of America. As a troop leader, he accompanied his scouts on canoeing and camping adventures into the wilderness of Canada.

Jerry was one of the founders of Cannon and Cocoran Management Services, Inc. (CCMSI) of Danville, Ill., serving as vice-president and director before retiring in 1996. In Diffusion and Persistence of Grassroots Government in Illinois, 1850-2000, Michael Sublett states under “Three for the Future,” “Here are three men who would take on great significance in the years to come…on 1 June 1986, the new Township officials of Illinois Risk Management Association with Kats as its director, began to accept premiums from member townships. Surplus revenue that Kats and TOIRMA generated would eventually provide a windfall for funding certain TOI operations.” He received the Township Officials Presidential Award in 1992; and after his retirement from CCMSI, he became Executive Director of TOIRMA, retiring in 2006.

He was a member of Rotary International, and served as a member of the District 325 School Board, Dunlap School System. Additionally, he was a Trustee of Lakeview Museum at the time of its inception and the opening of the museum.

Jerry was a member of Arcadia Avenue Presbyterian Church.

He will be remembered for his devotion to young athletes and his ability to serve them while overcoming a severe handicap, which he referred to as a “little inconvenience.”

Cremation rites have been accorded and a private service will be held at Wright & Salmon Mortuary. A celebration of life will be held at 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 26, 2016, at his daughters restaurant, Aurelio’s Pizza, 3821 N Sterling Ave., Peoria, Ill., 61615.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Illinois Veteran’s Home – La Salle, 1015 O’Conor Ave., LaSalle, Ill., 61301.

Friends may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com

Previous Events

Celebration of Life

Sunday

26

Jun

3:00 PM 6/26/2016 3:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 6/26/2016 6:00:00 PM
Aurelio's Pizza

3821 N. Sterling Ave
Peoria, IL 61604

Aurelio's Pizza
3821 N. Sterling Ave Peoria 61604 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Illinois Veteran's Home

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