Gerald J. Konkel January 8, 2014

MAKANDA – Gerald James Konkel, 64, passed away Jan. 8, 2014, in the VA Medical Center in Marion.

Jerry was born Aug. 31, 1949, in Louisville Ky., to Leonard and Jeannette Konkel.

He grew up in New Lenox, but developed wanderlust and over the years, he visited nearly all 50 states, living in at least six of them. He also visited more than 10 different countries. Jerry was happiest in the great outdoors communing with nature and any number of his beloved Westies. Jerry had a heart as big as the outdoors he loved so much and would do anything to help others enjoy life as much as he did.

He joined the Marines in 1968 and proudly served his country in Vietnam. His life was forever changed from that experience.

Survivors include his mother, Jeannette; brother, Randy and wife, Joan; sister, Kathleen and husband, Bart; a niece and nephew and their spouses; four great-nieces and nephews; two uncles, Bob and Bernard Baher; and many loving cousins.

Jerry’s countless friends and his family will long remember him for his kind heart and gentle soul. His request for his epitaph is. “Here lies Jerry. He sure had fun.” In Jerry’s memory do a good thing for another with no expectation of reward but just knowing it’s the right thing to do.

Internment will be in the National Cemetery in Dallas in March.

Walker Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements.

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