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TOPEKA ~ Jerry Eugene Sturgis, 62, of Topeka, passed away at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at his home with his loving wife by his side.

Born June 1, 1953 in Peoria to Gary and Dorothy (Evans) Sturgis, he married Paula Wade in 1994 in Mason County. She survives.

Also surviving are one daughter, Chastity; three step-children, Donjell (Lyle) Karnes, Donny (Venice) Simpson and Paulette (Chris) LaFleur; 16 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; one sister, Sheryl Ann Sturgis and one brother, David Wayne Sturgis.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Jerry was a veteran of the United States Navy.

He was a self-employed handy man.

An outdoorsman, Jerry loved hunting, fishing and horseback riding. He also loved work working.

Jerry would help anyone when he could. He had a true heart of gold and an amazing humorous personality that would brighten up your spirits when you were having a bad day.

A gathering celebrating Jerry’s life will be at noon on June 4, 2016 at Goofy Ridge Church, 21923 Hickory St., Topeka, IL. Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin is assisting the family with arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be given to the family to help defray funeral expenses.

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