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J.C. SextonAugust 14, 1937 ~ September 15, 2017 (age 80)
ESTERO, FLORIDA -- J.C. Sexton, age 80, of Estero, Florida, formerly of Ottawa and Manteno, passed away Friday, September 15, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida.
A visitation will be held Sunday, September 24 at Gladfelter Funeral Home in Ottawa from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. followed by a funeral service with Reverend Duane Kaufman officiating at 4:00 p.m. A second visitation will be held on Monday, September 25 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home in Manteno with a service of remembrance at 4:00 p.m. Interment will be in Arthur Cemetery, Arthur, Illinois, at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26.
Jonas Carroll Sexton was born August 14, 1937 on the family farm near Arthur in Coles County, Illinois, a son of Jonas A. and Margaret (Ramsey) Sexton. He married Charlene Mencer June 14, 1959 at the Vine Street Christian Church in Arthur.
J.C. graduated from Arthur Township High School in 1955. He attended Eureka College and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1958. A licensed funeral director for 50 years, J.C. began his career in funeral service at funeral homes in Decatur, Lake Forest, and Hinsdale, Illinois. In 1966, J.C. purchased the Gordon Funeral Home in Manteno and in 1977, co-owned three Schreffler & Sexton Funeral Homes in Kankakee, Bradley, and Manteno. In 1987, J.C. and his wife Charlene retired and travelled the United States in their motorhome. Finding he missed serving and being a comfort to people at the most difficult time in their lives, he purchased Gladfelter Funeral Home in Ottawa in 1990. In 1998, J.C. and Charlene moved the funeral home from West Madison Street to a new facility they designed and built on East Norris Drive. In 2008, they sold Gladfelter Funeral Home and retired to Estero, Florida. J.C. had a heart of service and worked tirelessly to comfort and support grieving families. He received many a hug and countless thank you notes in appreciation for his compassionate professional care. His genuine love for people shined through his hard work and his warm smile.
J.C.’s strong Christian faith, joyful spirit, and great integrity set the standard as a role model for his family. J.C. is survived by Charlene, his loving wife of 58 years; a son, Michael (Cindy) Sexton of Ellicott City, Maryland; and a daughter, Cynthia Sexton of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He also leaves grandchildren, Susan, Sarah, Nicholas, and Giovanni; a sister, Barbara (Richard) Kahl of Michigan; two nephews and three nieces. J.C.’s parents, two brothers; Coen and Mac Sexton; and a nephew preceded him in death.
He was beloved by the many people who knew him in Ottawa and Manteno, Illinois, and in Estero, Florida. Always active in the communities, J.C. was a member of Ottawa’s Trinity Lutheran Church, Elk’s Lodge #588, Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge # 960, Chamber of Commerce, Noon Rotary Club, and Ottawa’s Hospital Board. He was a Life Member of Ottawa Occidental Lodge #40, A.F. & A.M. and various Masonic organizations.
J.C. was a former member of the Illinois and National Funeral Directors Associations, served as past president of the Kankakee County Funeral Directors Association, and served as Deputy Coroner in Kankakee County.
In Manteno, he was a member of the Manteno United Methodist Church and its choir, and served as past president of the Manteno Rotary Club. He served as past chairman of the Manteno United Way and the Manteno Interfaith Commission; as well as a former member of the Riverside Medical Center Foundation Board, the Kankakee Community College Foundation Board, the Manteno and Kankakee Chambers of Commerce, and the board of directors of the Bradley Association of Commerce and Industry. He gave selflessly to many community organizations, and proudly served his country in the United States Naval Reserve.
In his retirement years in Estero, Florida, he especially enjoyed playing on the bocce team, exercising daily, and helping his friends and neighbors with countless handyman projects. He and his wife particularly liked taking cruises to the Caribbean.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association. To share a memory or light a candle, please visit www.gladfelterfuneralhome.com or Gladfelter Funeral Home on Facebook.