Jerry Paul Hawker, 67, died at home on Jan. 14, 2018, surrounded by his family and friends after a hard fought battle with cancer. He was born June 25, 1950, in Pana Ill., to William Edward Hawker and Zola Mae Cole Hawker.
He grew up in Sullivan and graduated from Sullivan High School in 1968. He was an industrious young man who worked hard and created himself just the way he wanted to be. He met the love of his life in 1976, Leslie Lynn Bernard, and they were married on July 4, 1976, in Parke County, beginning a love story that would span more than four decades.
Jerry graduated from Indiana State University with a B.S. in business management, but his love of people, sent him back to school at Indiana University-Indianapolis, where he completed his BSN/RN. He went on to work in various areas of nursing such as bone marrow transplant, ICU, solid organ transplant, and pediatrics, but his great love was Home Health Nursing, where he worked for the remainder of his last 14 years of nursing, for Nurse Care, Inc, in Terre Haute. He also volunteered at St. Ann's Clinic in Terre Haute for eight years.
Jerry spent his entire life caring for his family, his friends, his patients, and people he met along his life's journey. He lived a life of service and dedication to others. He never met a stranger and if he did they were not strangers for long. There was never an occasion or holiday that his house was not filled with people who he invited with his family to share of his life. Jerry was an incredible human being who represented the best of what people could be, and was an amazing role model to all who had the luck to be in his life's sphere. Jerry was a very spiritual man, and through all his trials and tribulations, he never lost sight of the power of faith. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and accepted the value and importance of all religions.
Jerry was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. His pride were his children, his son, Jarom, who selflessly gave up the last year of his life to care for his father fulltime while he was fighting the cancer; his daughter, Kelly, who helped make his life much more comfortable through the years; and his granddaughters/daughters, Sarah and Rebekah Johnson, who he raised and who brought him incredible joy watching them embrace life just like he did. He also was an avid animal lover, and his pets were a source of great love, his dogs, Maggie May, Wilhelmenia, Princess, and Ike; and his cats, Butter, Angel and Lucky.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Leslie; son, Jarom D. Hawker (Marybeth) Farmersburg; daughter, Kelly N. Hawker Johnson Wodicka (Keith) Terre Haute; granddaughters/daughters, Sarah N. Johnson (Brandyn Deal) Terre Haute; Rebekah L. Johnson, Farmersburg; granddaughter, Marsoni L. Hawker, Farmersburg; grandson Curtis J. Bernard-Stokelin, Tucson; brother, Mike Hawker (Connie), Sullivan; and sister, Marsha Grimes (Jerry) Sullivan. He also is survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins, and special friends he has gathered over the years; including our special friends Barbara and Phil Parks, Tucson, who have stuck with us through it all.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Edward and Virginia Bernard; his daughter, Christine M. Bernard; and grandson, Isaiah Bernard-Stokelin.
There will be no viewing or services, per Jerry's wishes, and he will be cremated. We will have memorials with family and friends at later dates. If you wish to make contributions to a life/education fund for his two granddaughters/daughters, Sarah and Rebekah Johnson, that would be appreciated, or you can send a donation in his memory to Stop Sexual Assault in Schools.org, who provided so much help to us during the dark days of our ordeal.
The light of our lives has dimmed for now. Jerry would say love each other, be good to each other, and "Live A Life You Can Be Proud Of".
Published on January 18, 2018