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Jerome B. “Klank” Rakers | Moss Funeral Home


Jerome B. “Klank” Rakers, age 81, of Aviston, passed away on Monday, January 22, 2024, at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon. He was born on June 21, 1942, in Breese, a son of the late Anthony “Tony” and Leona, nee Voss, Rakers. Klank married Edna Wuebbels on June 15, 1974, at St. Damian Catholic Church in Damiansville, and she survives in Aviston.


In addition to his wife of nearly fifty years, Klank is survived by his children, Julie (Greg) Kampwerth of Hazelwood, MO, Kathy (Jim) Kampwerth of Bartelso, Keith (Kym) Rakers of Breese, and Jeff Rakers of Breese; grandchildren, Hailey and Elizabeth Kampwerth, Grace and Lucy Kampwerth, and Paislee Rakers; step-grandsons, Jacob Kampwerth and Colton Snow; siblings, Don Rakers of Aviston, Mary O’Brien of Aviston, Howard (Marilou) Rakers of Breese, and Tony “JR.” (Mary) Rakers of Trenton; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Joe Heinzmann of St. Rose, JoAnn (friend, Art Gantner) Rathke of Belleville, Richard (Deb) Wuebbels of Germantown, Linda (Mike) Sprouse of Summerfield, Mike (Darlene) Wuebbels of Albers, David (Janet) Wuebbels of Albers, Marilyn (Mike) Buehlhorn of Swansea, Marvin (Mary) Wuebbels of Damiansville, Ed (Sharon) Wuebbels of Albers, and RoseAnn (Larry) Harris of Freeburg; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Klank was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Walter “Peepers” Rakers; sister, Margie Heinzmann; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joe and Clara, nee Kuhl, Wuebbels; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Ruth Mary Rakers, Tom O’Brien, Joe Varel, Leonard “Skip” Rathke, and Mary Wuebbels.


A veteran of the United States Army, Klank served from 1964-1966. He worked at Scott Air Force Base as a Boiler Plant Operator and in Civil Engineering, retiring in 2000. He also hauled machinery and helped during harvest at EJ Kehrer in Albers and drove a bus for Community Link and Southern Bus and Mobility.


Klank was deeply involved in the community, holding various roles in different organizations.  He was a dedicated member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Aviston, where he served as a Server, Eucharistic Minister, and Usher and in 2020 he received an Unsung Hero Award.  His commitment extended to his role as Past County Commander and Past Commander of Aviston American Legion Post 1239, as well as Sergeant at Arms for county and Post. He was a member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 239, former president of Aviston Jaycees, Aviston Knights of Columbus Council 11110, with titles including former Grand Knight, District Deputy, and State Officer. Klank was also a 4th Degree member of Bishop Althoff Assembly, holding titles such as Past Faithful Navigator and Former Commander and was inducted into the Belleville Chapter Southern Friendship League. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, Klank volunteered numerous hours of his time and energy, chairing events and contributing to various activities, most notably the KC State Softball Tournament, KC State Horseshoe Tournament, and the KC Regional Spelling Bee, and he also baked numerous turkeys for the Newman Center in Carbondale.


Klank’s altruistic nature was evident in his avid blood donation, contributing over 400 units to Barnes Jewish Pheresis Department. He also served as a school crossing guard for many years. In his leisure time, Klank enjoyed playing cards, yardwork, gardening, and hunting deer and pheasants.  He was well known for always giving everyone a hard time and never knew a stranger.


A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Aviston with Fr. Daniel Friedman and Fr. Chuck Tuttle concelebrating. Interment will follow at St. Francis Cemetery.


Visitation will be Wednesday, January 24, 2024 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. and again Thursday, January 25, 2024 from 8:00 – 9:15 a.m. at Moss Funeral Home in Breese.


The Aviston American Legion will hold services at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night followed by the Vietnam Veterans of America. The Aviston Knights of Columbus will hold services at 8:00 p.m. followed by the 4th Degree Bishop Althoff Assembly Chalice Service.


In lieu of flowers, plants, and other gifts, memorials may be made to the Newman Fund, Whispering Pines, or American Farm Heritage Museum in Greenville and will be received at the visitation or by mail, Moss Funeral Home, 535 N. 5th St. Breese, IL 62230, who is serving the family.

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