Franklin “Gerald” Sharer, 88, of Rochester, Illinois was reunited with his beloved wife, Joyce, Thursday, September 15, 2022. He was born October 3, 1933, in Owensboro to Earl and Prince Williams Sharer. He was raised in Owensboro, spending many summer days around the Ohio River with his west ender friends. He played football for the Owensboro High School Red Devils from 1949-1951 and graduated from Murray State University in 1956.

Gerald proudly served in the United States Army and Reserves from 1953-1968, rising to the rank of Captain. He was an administrator for the Federal Highway Administration for 30 years.

Gerald donated over 10 gallons of blood to help those in need. He loved the St. Louis Cardinals, Kentucky Wildcat Basketball, music, especially Johnny Cash and gospel music, but most of all he loved his family. This love extended to his in-laws which he loved like brothers and sisters.

He and Joyce moved their family many times and always found a Baptist church to attend. Church was very important to them, and they made sure their children heard the word of God. He currently was a member of Rochester First Baptist Church in Rochester, Illinois.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Joyce; his parents; his siblings, Anna Lee Ralph, Lula (Haven) Saikley, Dorothy (Tom) Brown, Earline (Levaughn) Heflin, Malcolm (Elizabeth) Raines, Wilson Sharer, and Wren (Mary Ruth) Sharer; several nieces and nephews, Richard Sonny Sharer, Patsy Johnston, Joyce Lanham, and Joanne LePage; granddaughter, Angela Marie Cashen; and son-in-law, Michael Noel.

Surviving are his children, Vicki Sharer, Beth (Tom) Cashen, Jennifer Noel, Steven (Angela) Sharer, and Kristen Sharer. They each believe that their dad was the dad everyone wished they had.

His grandchildren were the joy of his life. They include Tom (Brandi) Cashen, Corey (Agnes) Cashen, Matthew (Marcia) Jones, Lindan Noel, Morgan (Clint LeMar), Austin, and Rachel Sharer. His great-grandchildren Reese, Audrey, and Isabella Cashen, McKenna, Laykin, and Averie Jones and Casen LeMar always brought a big smile to his face. They were each beautiful to him. His special granddog, Jack, was a special comfort to him in his final days.

The funeral service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at Rochester First Baptist Church, 305 State St., in Rochester, Illinois. Burial will follow in Rochester Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service Wednesday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Rochester First Baptist Church or the Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls Club, 3415 Buckland Square, Owensboro, KY 42301.

To honor Gerald, please donate blood to your local blood bank and always do a group hug with your loved ones. Family is precious.

Wilson Park Funeral Home, 200 E. Main St. in Rochester, Illinois is in charge of arrangements.