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Descendants of Gerke M. Tjarks

Generation No. 3

      8. William LaVerne3 Tjarks (George2, Gerke M.1)25 was born June 28, 1912 in Mayton, Illinois25, and died November 28, 1986 in Bartonville, Illinois at home,106 Franklin Street26,27. He married Joyce Lorraine Cockerell28,29 August 12, 1935 in Eureka,Illinois at Home of Rev. E.T. Munns30, daughter of William Cockerell and Bessie Finley.

Notes for William LaVerne Tjarks:
      When William LaVerne Tjarks was born to Bertha Jean Martin and George "Gehard" Tjarks in June of 1912 in the little mining town of Mayton, Illinois the president of the United States was William Howard Taft and Russia was governed by Czar Nicholas II.                         LaVerne's dad George, worked long and hard hours in the low rooms of the mines and he spent most of his time in the dark because it was dark when he left for work in the morning and it was dark when he came out of the mine after a long day.
      George like his father, was a coal miner an LaVerne was never to meet his grandfather for George's father Gerke M. Tjarks was killed in a mine accident when George was seventeen years old. LaVerne's grandfather was killed when he was caught in a cave in at the Rentz Mines near Kram Station,Illinois.             Like his father and his grandfather before him, William LaVerne became a coal miner. But first he would attend grade school and high school. It was at Manual High School in Peoria, Illinois that LaVerne was first seen as a very talented young man. Not only did he play on the state championship basketball team in 1930, but he also did the art work for the school year book. While attending high school at Manual, LaVerne and his family lived at 117 Seibold Street In Peoria, Illinois. But after high school LaVerne passed up an art scholarship to college in the far off state of Colorado and went to work in the mines. Laverne worked in the mines from 1931 until the year his son Gary was born in 1937.
      LaVerne married Joyce Cockerell on August 11, 1935. They also had a daughter , Wendy, who was born on 1936.
      LaVerne was the co-owner of a grocery store in Bartonville, IL. His partner was his mothers' brother Wallace "Butch" Martin. The store closed in 1962 to make room for highway expansion and LaVerne then worked for the Keystone Steel & Wire Company and was in charge of rod storage for the next ten years.
      Laverne had suffered various illness related to heart disease and was forced to retire from work in 1972. LaVerne died Friday November 28, 1986, at 9:40 P.M., at his home located at 106 Franklin Street in Bartonville, Illinois.
      LaVerne Tjarks was remembered at his funeral as a member of The United Methodist Church where he was a member of the men's club. He was also a member of the Bartonville Lyons Club. He was viewed by those who knew him as a strong supporter of the many customers that he had served in his grocery business. There were those who remembered that " when we couldn't pay the bill, LaVerne carried us until we got back on are feet."

More About William LaVerne Tjarks:
Apprentice Course: Bet. 1944 - 1946, Caterpillar Tractor Company- Peoria, Illinois31
Athletic Career: 1930, Member- State Champion Manual B.B. Team 32
Burial: December 01, 1986, Lutheran Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois33
Cause of Death: Heart Failure
Community Service 1: Bet. 1946 - 1986, United Methodist Mens Club Member33
Community Service 2: Bet. 1940 - 1962, Served on local Civil Defense Unit34
Community Service 3: Bet. 1946 - 1986, Bartonville Lions Club chartermember35
Funeral: December 01, 1986, Davison-Fulton Chapel-Bartonville, Illinois35
Graduation, Grade School: June 1927, Harrison Grade School, Peoria, Illinois36
Graduation, High School: June 1931, Manual Training High School- Peoria, Illinois37
Hobby: September 1955, President, Limestone Booster Club
Medical Information: On September 9, 1963 William LaVerne Tjarks Suffered a stroke that forced him to retire from his position at Keystone Steel & Wire Company of Bartonville, Illinois
Occupation: Bet. 1931 - 1937, Coal Miner38
Occupation Two: Bet. 1946 - 1963, Grocery store co-owner,Bartonville, Illinois39
Religion: Bet. 1946 - 1986, Member: Bartonville Methodist Church39

Notes for Joyce Lorraine Cockerell:
      On August 11,1994 Joyce Lorraine Cockerell Tjarks wrote the following about her life:
      I was born in Sioux City, Iowa on November 19,1913. I'm sure, however, I'm an Illinois product.                                    My parents brought me to Eureka, Illinois when I was six weeks old.      My father worked as a farm hand. My mother told me we lived in a house for some time. Mother, however, spent much time with her mother in town. I of course knew nothing of that time.                                    What I remember most was living and growing up at my grandmother's (Geneva Moore Finley) with my mother, two of her brothers (Ralph-Floyd) and most importantly my little red curly headed sister(Hazel Cockerell Gillan).            My grandmother was the widow of James Finley and she was making her livelihood with a boarding and rooming house on Calander Street in Eureka.       My mother (Bessie Dell Finley) worked at the local telephone office. It was owned by two brothers and was run with great decorum. It was a highly sought after place to work. I can still smell that clean efficient office with its wonderment of wires, plug ins, little chips falling, lights coming on,and the operator asking number please and then connecting the other party.                  We were not allowed in the office when we were very small but I can still picture the telephone office with its extra room for the operator who stayed all night. A lovely black couch was her resting place.                        The night operator had a little girl who became my best friend Eldora.(Eldora Price Brown). I still see her occasionally. We never had a quarrel. She loved to come to my house and I adored her special room in the basement with her own neat desk and lovely whole fresh box of Crayons- not one broken.                                                      She spent some nights with her mother at the office. We, Sis and Eldora and I were allowed to play outside the office until almost dark. It was only a block from our house. We played on some Iron railings where we could turn flips. Those were the days of a lovely childhood.
      I had another girl friend with whom I walked to school every day. She was a pretty little girl. We played in our old barn in the summer time. We dressed up and were all the old movie stars. Rudolph Valentino was our hero.
      We were allowed to go to the movies once a week. It cost ten cents.            Of course I must write about my sister and me. Hazel was a pretty little girl. Tiny became her nickname in years to come. She had beautiful auburn curls, which she hated to have combed. I was the plain one, towheaded with brown eyes, and straight fine hair.                             
      I think we had a wonderful childhood. We had a mother, grandmother, two uncles and one of our uncle's partners in his barber shop, our mother's cousin (Florence Hopping Puterbaugh) who was the office girl at Dr. Nickel's office and the baby sitter. In later years she and her husband became two of my husband LaVerne and my greatest friends.                              I suppose we were Spoiled slightly! Grandmother's borders spolied us too! I remember what wonderful Christmases we had. Santa Clause brought wonderful gifts. I'm sure that mother saved and saved, for we always had beautiful things. Santa also brought the tree with candles lit and all. We came down stairs into the living room to see a glorious sight! Candles were glowing on bright and colorful ornaments. I think my Uncle Ralph the barber was responsible for that.
      I believe our Christmas vacations lasted forever. We had a beautiful table with four chairs. We had nice little girl square patent leather purses with hats. one year we had a doll bed, dressing table and cupboard complete with dishes! We also had delicious oranges, I can still smell now, nuts, and Christmas candy. We had a warm home and family, who could ask for more?            We were never wealthy as my mother and grandmother worked so hard to make ends meet. Sis and I had two pairs of shoes each year. One pair for Easter and spring and one pair when we started school. I think we might have had a pair of sandals extra. Winter brought long underwear and long tan stockings. We did have a furnace, inside bathroom and electric lights.            Grade school was a great time. I was always worried about having to stand up and recite. My grades were average and I did all right. I still was not one to stand up and talk, but I can still hold my own with just ordinary conversation with my friends.                                   
      In school I always liked physical education, loved to play ball in the spring with our class and liked our exercises inside. Finally there was graduation and on to high school.                       
      Things I will always remember are: visits to Aunt Effie and Uncle Mikes, Chataqua, Tabernacle, Pontiac, peanut butter, Aunt Clara and Aunt Sade. Note: See Uncle Joe Hayes notes for the shotgun story.

More About Joyce Lorraine Cockerell:
Burial: December 18, 1995, Luthern Cemetery Peoria, Illinois40
Cause of Death: Acute cerebral vascular accident due to Hypertension
Community Service: 1930, Eureka Jr. Womens Club Charter Member
Funeral: December 18, 1995, Davison-Fulton Chapel- Bartonville, Illinois41
Graduation, Grade School: June 1926, Davenport Grade School-Eureka,Illinois
Graduation, High School: June 1931, Eureka High School42
Home Town: June 02, 1941, Peoria, Illinois43
Occupation: 1931, Clerk _ Ben Franklin Variety-Eureka, Illinois
Ocupation Two: Bet. 1946 - 1962, Owner/Operator-Martin & Tjarks Grocery-Bartonville,Il44
Religion: Member Bartonville United Methodist Church & Womens Society44
Social Security Number: 333-24-184345

Marriage Notes for William Tjarks and Joyce Cockerell:
      Joyce Lorraine Cockerell married William LaVerne Tjarks in Eureka, Illinois on August 12, 1935. The happy couple was married at the home of Rev. E.T. Munns. Joyce's sister Hazel Cockerell of Eureka and LaVerne's brother Elmer, of Peoria, Illinois, served as witness to the event.                   Following the ceremony Joyce and LaVerne went to the movies.
Children of William Tjarks and Joyce Cockerell are:
+ 24 i.   Wendy Lou4 Tjarks, born July 02, 1936 in Methodist Hospital, Peoria, Illinois.
+ 25 ii.   Gary Lee Tjarks, born November 30, 1937 in Peoria, Illinois at St. Francis Hospital.

      9. Elmer Marvin3 Tjarks (George2, Gerke M.1)46 was born October 11, 1913 in Bartonville, Illinois46, and died December 14, 1969 in Methodist Hospital, Peoria, Illinois46. He married Mildred Louise Miller46 March 19, 1939 in Peoria,Illinois46.

More About Elmer Marvin Tjarks:
Burial: December 1969, Lutheran Cemetery, Peoria, Illinois
Cause of Death: Heart failure
Funeral: December 1969, Endsley & Son Funeral Home- Peoria, IL
Graduation: Manual High School, Peoria, Illinois
Occupation: Caterpillar Tractor Company Employee

Notes for Mildred Louise Miller:

More About Mildred Louise Miller:
Cause of Death: Cancer
Children of Elmer Tjarks and Mildred Miller are:
+ 26 i.   Larry Wayne4 Tjarks, born July 12, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois.
+ 27 ii.   David Lee Tjarks, born June 17, 1942 in Peoria, Illinois.
+ 28 iii.   Douglas Marvin Tjarks, born March 11, 1944 in Peoria, Illinois.
+ 29 iv.   MaryJo Tjarks, born November 30, 1947 in Peoria, Illinois.
+ 30 v.   Kathleen Ann Tjarks, born January 24, 1950.
  31 vi.   Infant Girl Tjarks, born July 17, 1946; died July 17, 1946 in (Stillborn) Peoria, Illinois.

      10. Donald George3 Tjarks (George2, Gerke M.1) was born June 10, 1920 in Peoria , Illinois, and died 1998 in Peoria, Illinois. He married Ellen Marie Barnett March 16, 1946.

More About Donald George Tjarks:
Baptism: July 04, 1920, Tyng Memorial Church, Peoria, Illinois
Community Service: Heart of Illinois F.M. Repeater Club
Graduation: Manual High School, Peoria, Illinois
Military service: 1941, Served in U.S. Navy during World War II
Occupation: 1946, P&PU Railroad rate clerk47
Children of Donald Tjarks and Ellen Barnett are:
+ 32 i.   Jack Eldon4 Tjarks, born May 13, 1947 in Peoria, Illinois.
+ 33 ii.   Janet Lynn Tjarks, born July 02, 1949 in Peoria,Illinois.
  34 iii.   Gail Ann Tjarks, born March 06, 1953 in Peoria, Illinois. She married Steven Richard Schmall April 14, 1979.
  35 iv.   Daniel Bruce Tjarks48, born June 23, 1956 in Peoria,Illinois, St. Francis Hospital.
  More About Daniel Bruce Tjarks:
Community College: 1984, Illinois Central College, Peoria, Illinois49
Degree: 1984, Certified Cobal Programmer49
Graduation, Grade School: 1970, Oak Grove Grade School, Bartonville, IL.49
Graduation, High School: 1974, Limestone H.S.,Bartonville, Illinois49
Occupation: 1978, Cabinet Maker, Holds Journeymans Certificate49

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