John R. Harter, 69, of Northlake, Ill., formerly of Sugar Grove, passed away at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, Elmhurst, Saturday, May 15, 2010.
He was born March 21, 1941, in Aurora, the son of J. Raymond and Gladys (Severtson) Harter.
John grew up in the Elburn area on several farms over the years and attended Kaneland High School.
John was lucky in love twice, marrying Margaret Keierleber in 1959, and later, Linda Macon in 1969. He was blessed with nine children and a lifetime of memories.
John spent his first adult years in Elburn before living in Aurora, Sugar Grove and Yorkville. Most recently, he called Northlake home for 13 years.
Though he farmed like his family in his younger years, before long he traded a tractor seat for a seat in a tractor trailer. He drove a truck for many companies, most recently for Chicago Sweeteners Inc.
He loved to fish for anything that swam in any body of water big enough to hold them. The term Dad never encompassed what John was to his children. He was a dad to more than just his children, adopting not by law, but by love, children that werenâ€™t his own.
John also was a loving grandfather to all his grandchildren, but over the years developed an especially close relationship with his granddaughter, Olivia Harter.
He was a man large in stature, but even bigger when it came to how he cared for others. A better friend no man could find. His loss canâ€™t be measured in size but found in the number of footprints that were uniquely his, alongside his family and friends as he walked with them through their lives.
He is survived by his mother, Gladys Harter; nine children, John Maseman of Burlington, Wis., Byron (Sue) Maseman of Titusville, Fla., Steve (Donna) Maseman of Sandwich, Ill., Deb (Che) Gonzalez of Rockford, Ill., Teresa (Richard Givens) Harter of Joliet, Ill., Kenneth A. (Roberta) Kassinger of Yorkville, Phil (Becky) Kassinger of Sugar Grove, Tim Kassinger of Scott City, Mo., and Nina Lynn (Steven) Saindon of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 36 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; one sister, Kathryn Zawacke of Morristown, N.J.; one brother, Dennis (Diane) Harter of Keller, Texas, many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends along each country mile.
He is preceded in death by his father, J. Raymond; and one grandson, Jeremie Maseman.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, May 24, at Kaneville United Methodist Church, Kaneville. A memorial service hosted by his family with the help of the church will begin at 7 p.m. Rev. Jason Turner, pastor of the church, will officiate, and private interment will follow cremation.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit American Lung Association. Checks may be made to the â€œJohn Harter Memorialâ€ and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.