Jerry W. Essig, 73, of Parsons died at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, at Freeman West Hospital in Joplin.
He was born Jan. 10, 1938, in Parsons to John and Anna Lee (Rook) Essig. He grew up and attended schools in Parsons and was a graduate of Parsons High School.
He served in the U.S. Air Force eight years before being honorably discharged in June 1964. Following his discharge, he returned to Parsons where he worked with his father in his shoe repair business. He also worked at the Bush Hog plant in Galesburg for 16 years, the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant and most recently at Ducommun AeroStructures. Through the years, he also operated a gun shop out of his home. He enjoyed hunting and fishing.
He married Naomi Whetzel in 1965. They later divorced. He married Rena (McKee) Lewis on April 29, 1998, in Fredonia. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include three sons, Eric Essig, Jeff Essig and Jared Essig, all of Parsons; a stepdaughter, Christine Irvine of Neodesha; three stepsons, Edward Lewis of Parsons, Tim Lewis of Derby and Nick Lewis of Fredonia; three grandchildren; 15 stepgrandchildren; two stepgreat-grandchildren; a brother, John Essig of Thayer; and a sister, Barbara Sowers of Valrico, Fla.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Jason Byron Essig.
Following cremation, a private committal service will be at a future date. The Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.