Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Jerome Van,(78) fondly known as Van, was born to Joseph Gustus and Flossie Van on July 3rd, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois. Van was the sixth of seven children born to that union.
Jerome departed from this life October 11, 2023 at his home with his family by his side. He was the last survivor of his siblings, Joseph, Delores, Josephine, Angeline, Grace and Rachel, all preceded him in death.
At the tender age of 6, his mother passed away. Leaving him to be raised by his Aunt Fannie, sister, Delores (Lois) and her husband, James Riley.
While residing on the west side of Chicago, he attended Bryant Elementary School and John Marshall High School. Eventually, transferring to Parker High School on the south side. Van proudly graduated with the class of 1963, where he excelled in the classroom and as a member of the track team.
After enrolling and attending Moody Bible College, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in the summer of 1964. Serving as an Airman Second Class Specialist, he was honorably discharged in 1968.
After his military time was completed, he entered the workforce with the United States Postal Service. Leaving there, he became a Field manager for East Texas Motor Freight in Joliet. Finally, gaining employment at the Joliet Correctional Center. Raising the rank of Lieutenant, where his coworkers affectionally named him, “Shorty Forty” he retired in 2001. After retirement, he worked security at Hollywood Casino and Louis Joliet Mall. Until deciding to stop working completely to enjoy retirement.
Van’s true passion was coaching youth sports. He gave his time, talents and tenacity to teaching the games he loved, basketball, football, and baseball. He twice won Coach of the year honors in football and led his baseball teams to several league championships.
In 1983, he met the love of his life and future wife, Ruby Lynn Harris at a softball game. They spent over 40 years together. Loving, traveling, entertaining friends and raising their family. The only thing that could compare to his love for Ruby and family was his fiery passion for the Chicago Bears, Bulls and his Cubbies!
Van is preceded in death by his son, Lil Jerome Van and daughter, Jayda Lyn Van a.k.a Jeremy A. Van.
Jerome leaves to cherish his precious memories a loving wife, Ruby Lynn, His children Felicia Dionne Van, Derek Jerome Van(Tracey) in Chicago. Tiffany Lynn Van, La’Mariana and Larry Killensworth of Joliet. Grandchildren Malik J. Van, Anthony D. Sparks, Akyva I. Van, McKennah C. Van and Za’Dyn J.M. Hall and Great Granddaughter Sienna M. Rias. A host of nieces, nephews, family members and friends both young and old will all celebrate the life and love they enjoyed with him.