Harlan H. Newkirk, 86, of the Villas of Holly Brook in Washington, formerly of Lansing, IL, and Huntley, IL, passed away peacefully in the company of loved ones at 3:30pm on Monday, November 19, 2018, at UnityPoint Health- Methodist in Peoria, IL.
Born in Homestead, IA on March 22, 1932, Harlan was preceded in death by his parents Ted and Emma Newkirk, brother Virgil Newkirk, nephew Craig Newkirk and beloved wife, soulmate and high school sweetheart, Dorothy “Dottee” Ellis Newkirk.
Harlan attended Grinnell College and the University of Iowa, graduating with an M.A. in the first class of Hospital Administration. He loved serving others and found great joy in the Air Force setting up air force military hospitals, and later in Lawrenceville, IL, Fairfield, IL, and finally at South Chicago Community Hospital in Chicago as their CEO. He earned the designation of Fellow from the Academy of Healthcare Administration and was the South Chicago YMCA's Man of the Year in 1978. He retired with great satisfaction having created a successful merger with Evangelical Health Systems, thereby ensuring the future of SCCH.
Another great joy was serving our Lord at the United Methodist Church of Lansing, IL, as a devoted member of the choir, and in Huntley, IL, as part of the Son Shine Boys Men’s Christian group. He was also an active member of Living Waters Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake, IL, and Faith Lutheran Church in Washington, IL. Furthermore, he found tremendous solace in leading Bible studies at the Villas of Holly Brook every Friday.
Most important for Harlan was his family. He is survived by his two loving sisters Lucille Smith and Jan Sparks, and his two children and their spouses, Lisa (John) Newkirk Reimler and Jeff (Dian) Newkirk. He was also a doting grandfather to grandchildren Benjamin and Darcy Reimler and Payton, Mary and Emma Newkirk.
In Lansing, Harlan enjoyed many golf outings, particularly at the Lansing Sportsmans Club, attended many of his childrens' activities and would later be his grandchildrens' greatest cheerleader at their numerous activities. Harlan was known to brag about his grandkids constantly. He was a voracious reader, loved traveling, and had particularly fond memories of trips to Hawaii, Europe, Panama, and most recently to Washington, D.C., as part of the Greater Peoria Honor Flight.
A memorial service will take place at Faith Lutheran Church in Washington, IL on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 10:30am. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will occur later in Marengo, Iowa. Deiters Funeral Home and Crematory, Washington is serving the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Faith Lutheran Church.